Lillian Hellman’s play The Children’s Hour was revived in the West End a few years ago, but as I wasn’t living in London then, I missed out. Instead, I attended a production by the Southside Players at the Chestnut Grove School Theatre in Balham.
The play was originally written in 1934, and was banned in America and the UK because of the daring theme. It is set in a girls’ school where the rumours spread by one child about the two friends who own and teach at the school have profound and tragic consequences.
This is a superb play and I enjoyed this production, which had a strong cast and was staged well. I particularly liked the actress playing Mary, who managed to combine an unsettling malevolence with childlike naivety.