BWW Review: THE CHILDREN at Trinity Street Playhouse
Where to start when reviewing the best play in town? Start with the beginning I suppose, and The Children begins with a gorgeous set courtesy of Michael Krauss and Carlo Lorenzo Garcia. It's a small cottage on the east coast of England and it has that perfect "lived-in look". It would be easy to create a passable set but this one is rich with details, depth and character. Add to that a terrific lighting design from Alison Lewis and sound design from Craig Brock and you have a three-dimensional environment worthy of a play of this caliber from playwright Lucy Kirkwood.
Long-married-now-retired couple Hazel and Robin (Katherine Schroeder and David R. Jarrott) dwell here and receive a surprise visit from former colleague Rose (Pamela Francesca Christian) after a 38-year absence. Yeah, it can't be good news but it doesn't automatically equal bad news. The story that unfolds is a perfectly written play masterfully directed by Carlo Lorenzo Garcia and I refuse to reveal more of the plot for fear of reprisal.
The text of the piece is character-driven, chockfull of humor, and replete with absolutely riveting acting. I was spellbound every second. This play twists and turns and astonishes with every moment, every beat. I felt like a blindfolded man on a monster rollercoaster. My mind had no time to wander, no dead space whatsoever.
Pamela Francesca Christian, Katherine Schroeder and David R. Jarrott are consummate artists that leave no stone unturned, no detail ignored and have a "take no prisoners" acting technique that astonishes. They wring out every drop of humor (written and unwritten) and make us "see" the unseen characters so well that opinions are formed. The characters constantly make discoveries of each other, themselves and the unseen characters. This series of revelations will delight you, astound you, entertain you, and best of all, make you think.
The Children is presented with no intermission and the 95-minute ride ends too soon because it leaves you wanting more, and that my friends is (for me) what separates a good play from a masterpiece.
You do not want to miss The Children, playing now through May 12 at Trinity Street Playhouse, located on the 4th floor of the First Baptist Church at 901 Trinity Street, in downtown Austin. Tickets are available at: https://www.jarrottproductions.com/