Hepburn hit comes to Hampton Hill Playhouse

Audrey Hepburn: Hollywood giant

Audrey Hepburn: Hollywood giant

First published in News Richmond and Twickenham Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A powerful story that originally hit the big screen with Audrey Hepburn is coming to Hampton Hill.

The Children’s Hour was written in 1934 by Lillian Hellman, who was a star at the time for not only her writing but for her life and politics.

She was one of the most famous female American writers of the 20th century and also the first admitted into the all-male club of American dramatic literature, thanks partly to The Children’s Hour.

The play tells the tale of Karen Wright and Martha Dobie who run a boarding school for young girls.

When a malicious student spreads lies about the pair, the school and its reputation are scandalised.

The accusation proceeds to destroy the women’s careers, relationships and lives.

The play explores lesbianism, which at the time was even more taboo than male homosexuality, and the plot shocked more for its suggestion that schoolgirls knew not only of sex but sexual perversion from reading dirty books.

The Children’s Hour was Hellman’s first play and shot her to celebrity at the age of 29, but to the outrage of New York’s theatre critics was considered too scandalous for the Pulitzer Prize.

The show was recently revived in the West End and starred Keira Knightley.

Dawn Lacey will direct the Hampton Hill version, with a free post-show discussion for audiences on Sunday, March 16.

The Children’s Hour at Hampton Hill Playhouse, High Street, Hampton Hill; Sunday, March 16, to Saturday, March 22; Sunday 4pm, weekdays 7.45pm; Tickets £12 and £14; Call 0845 8387529 or visit ttc-boxoffice.org.uk.

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