Arts & Culture

Angela Carter’s Wise Children at Oxford Playhouse from Tuesday 13 to Saturday 17 November 2018.

By Cait Sweeney at

The world premiere stage production of Angela Carter’s Wise Children, adapted and directed by Emma Rice, comes to Oxford Playhouse from Tuesday 13 to Saturday 17 November 2018.

Telling the story of 70-year-old twin chorus girls and their theatrical family, this big, bawdy celebration of show business is the inaugural production from Emma Rice’s company of the same name, and has been co-produced by the Old Vic, Oxford Playhouse, Belgrade Theatre Coventry and York Theatre Royal.

‘Let’s have all the skeletons out of the closet, today, of all days!’

It’s 23 April, Shakespeare’s birthday. In Brixton, Nora and Dora Chance are celebrating their 70th birthday. Over the river in Chelsea, their father and greatest actor of his generation Melchior Hazard turns 100 on the same day. As does his twin brother Peregrine. If, in fact, he’s still alive. And if, in truth, Melchior is their real father after all…

In Wise Children, Emma Rice’s visually rich and playful style has found the perfect match in Angela Carter’s sumptuous, sensual language and exuberant storytelling. Expect show girls and Shakespeare, sex and scandal, music, mischief and mistaken identity – and butterflies by the thousand.

Tickets for Wise Children at Oxford Playhouse start at £10 and are available from the Ticket Office on 01865 305305 or book online at

Dates: Tuesday 13 to Saturday 17 November 2018
Times: Tue to Thu & Sat eves 7.30pm | Fri 8pm | Thu & Sat mats 2.30pm
Post-show talk: Wednesday
Audio described performance: Sat 2.30pm
Tickets: £10 to £30 | Discounts available
Age Guideline: 12+


Wise Children is a new theatre company created and led by Emma Rice. It is the beginning of a new chapter, and the culmination of the practice and ethos Emma has developed over her unique 30-year career. Wise Children will create landmark work with exceptional artists, challenge outmoded theatre touring models, train the next generation of creative practitioners, and discover the creative spaces of the future.


Emma is the proud and excited Artistic Director of her new company, Wise Children. As Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Globe (2016/18), she directed Romantics Anonymous, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Little Matchgirl (and Other Happier Tales).

For the previous 20 years, she worked for Kneehigh as an actor, director and Artistic Director. Her productions for Kneehigh include: The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Tristan & Yseult, 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, The Wild Bride, The Red Shoes, The Wooden Frock, The Bacchae, Cymbeline (in association with RSC), A Matter of Life and Death (in association with National Theatre), Rapunzel (in association with Battersea Arts Centre), Brief Encounter (in association with David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers Productions – the production has been revived this year and is currently playing at the Empire Cinema Haymarket), Don John (in association with the RSC and Bristol Old Vic), Wah! Wah! Girls (in association with Sadler’s Wells and Theatre Royal Stratford East for World Stages) and Steptoe and Son.

Other work includes: the West End production of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Oedipussy (Spymonkey); The Empress (RSC); and An Audience with Meow Meow (Berkeley Repertory Theatre).