play-alt chevron-thin-right chevron-thin-left cancel

Wise Children

About the Show Less...

Emma Rice launches her exciting new company Wise Children with a playful and heart-wrenching adaptation of the novel of the same name. Read More >

Emma Rice launches her exciting new company Wise Children with a playful and heart-wrenching adaptation of the novel of the same name.

Set in Brixton, Wise Children follows Nora and Dora Chance – twin chorus girls, born and bred south of the Thames, and celebrating their 75th birthday. Meanwhile, over the river in Chelsea, their father Melchior Hazard – the greatest actor of his generation – turns 100. And so does his twin brother Peregrine – if he’s alive, that is. In fact, is Melchior their real father after all?

Theatrical joy and tragedy intertwine in Wise Children, a celebration of a life of show business – and the family, forgiveness and hope that pervade it. Between show girls and Shakespeare, music and mischief, and mistaken identity, sex and scandal, Rice weaves her uniquely impish storytelling with Angela Carter’s last great novel.

Wise Children is also the name of Emma Rice’s new theatre company, which recently announced its London residency at The Old Vic. The eponymous production opens in October at the venue, before touring to cities including the likes of Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, York and Coventry.

The company promises to carry Rice’s signature theatrical style, having worked for the previous 20 years for Kneehigh as an actor, director and Artistic Director. Her numerous hits during that time include the likes of The Flying Lovers Of Vitebsk, Tristan & Yseult, The Red Shoes, Cymbeline and Brief Encounter. She also served as Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe between 2016-2018, with her hits at the venue including Romantics Anonymous, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Little Matchgirl (And Other Happier Tales).

Starring in the world premiere of Wise Children will be Sam Archer, Ankur Bahl, Stu Barker, Omari Douglas, Mirabelle Gremaud, Alex Heane, Paul Hunter, Melissa James, Bettrys Jones, Patrycja Kujawska, Etta Murfitt, Katy Owen, Ian Ross, Gareth Snook, and Mike Shepherd.

So come and enjoy Wise Children, a big, bawdy tangle of happiness and heartbreak, playing at The Old Vic in the venue’s spectacular bicentenary season.


Age Recommendation: 14+. Please note that this show contains some sexual content, swearing and adult themes throughout. i

emma rice the old vic wise children

Important Dates & Timing

Previews From: 08/10/2018

Opening Night: 17/10/2018

Closing Night: 10/11/2018

Running time: TBC

Security note: For your comfort and security, you may be subject to additional checks on your visit to London theatres. Please contact the venue for more information.

We currently don’t have tickets for this show.
For ticketing information, please visit the show's website.

Cast & Creative


Nora - Etta Murfitt

Dora - Gareth Snook

Peregrine - Mike Shepherd

Melchior - Paul Hunter

Young Peregrine - Sam Archer

Young Melchior - Ankur Bahl

Young Nora - Mirabelle Gremaud

Young Dora - Bettrys Jones

Showgirl Nora - Omari Douglas

Showgirl Dora - Melissa James

Lady Atalanta/Wheelchair - Patrycja Kujawska

Grandma Chance - Katy Owen

Band Leader - Ian Ross

The Band - Stu Barker, Alex Heane



Director - Emma Rice

Producer - An Old Vic and Wise Children production, co-produced by the Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Oxford Playhouse and York Theatre Royal

Designer - Vicki Mortimer

Choreographer - Etta Murfitt

Lighting Designer - Malcolm Rippeth

Sound - Simon Baker

Author - Angela Carter

Music By - Ian Ross

About The Old Vic

The Cut, London, United Kingdom, SE1 8NB

Unlike film, there is currently no official age classification organisation for theatre. All age recommendations are subjective and should be interpreted as guidelines unless otherwise stated. It's the responsibility of the patron to judge the show’s suitability in advance of purchase. We recommend contacting us at if you are in any doubt.