by Edward Bond
A young boy, Joe, is bullied by his mother into burning down a house.
Another boy dies in the fire. With his friends, Joe decides to run away from home.
As they set off, they suddenly find themselves alone, in a post-apocalyptic world…
Bond's The Children was written to be performed by a cast of young people, with two adult actors. In each venue on the tour, we worked with a group of young people for a week, rehearsing the play with them; and at the end of the week, it was performed.
The production was directed by David Allen and Gill Adamson. Subsequently, David wrote an article, based on his experience of working on the play. Called 'The Children,' it is published in the book, Edward Bond and the Dramatic Child (available here).
For Bond, the play “describes a journey – one which could start from any modern town”. It is like “the map of the ancient rite of passage” – “the very ancient journey that all humans have had to go since we first wanted to understand ourselves and take responsibility for our world”.
The play itself, Bond argues, should be an experience for the young actors – taking them on a “journey” into the “psyche”.
The MAT production reflects the company’s interest in education, and in working with young people. It also reflects our desire to reach out and involve people, not simply as audience members, but as active participants in making theatre.
Our latest production, Descent, is set (like "The Children") in a post-apocalyptic world; and it is also designed to take characters - and audiences - on a “journey” into the “psyche.” More details here.