On Friday night we went to The Children by Lucy Kirkwood at the Royal Court theater. The Children is a contemporary play; it first premiered in 2013. It is set in an alternate England where there has been a Fukushima-type nuclear disaster. One of the nuclear plant’s retired engineers decides to approach her fellow retired coworkers and ask them to return to the plant to assist with the management and cleanup so that the younger workers aren’t exposed to dangerous radiation. Most of us returned to the hostel that night to write our journals about the play, and get to ready for the morning’s discussion. In our discussion, we were encouraged to think about how the ethical issues presented in the play, such as our responsibility to future generations, in our own present lives and our lives in the future.
On Saturday night we went to Wish Listby Katherine Soper at the Royal Court theater, the same theater as The Children. This play was first staged at the Royal Exchange Theater in Manchester in September of 2016, and it won the Bruntwood Prize for playwriting in 2015. The play itself is set in the modern day and centers around Tasmin, a nineteen-year-old girl trying to make ends meet while caring for her brother, who is suffering from severe mental illness. The stellar acting and intimate theater space made it one of the most powerful plays we have seen so far. We were all feeling the weight of the play when we discussed it later. We talked about mental illness, healthcare systems, and systems of low-wage intensive labor. It was not an easy discussion, but it was a valuable one that will be difficult to forget.
Our Continuing Adventures in Good Ol' London Town
Since Wish List was a matinee, a few of us went to see a musical of our choice in the evening. Linnea and Ashleigh saw Book of Mormon and a group of four went to see Wicked. Both groups were very happy with their choices and highly recommend you see them both. They are worth the price!
Sunday was our one day this month with no commitments, so most of us took full advantage of the time to explore London. Whether it was an adventure to Westminster, a stroll through Hyde Park, or a visit to the many different museums, today was a day to enjoy ourselves in this historic city. Many of us ended the night with dinner at a pub and then headed back to the hostel for relaxation and much-needed rest.