The Children's Hour Review

Harry Scholes Wow. I don’t even know where to begin with this one. An hour and a half of tears, tantrums, and terrific thespianism. ‘The Children’s Hour.’ What a deceptive name. Throw out the kid-friendly, patronizing, lighthearted ideas the name implies, and replace it with the exact opposite of that. It was so intense that I was on the edge of my seat for most of it- literally. I fell off on a few occasions, and didn’t even notice.

It was gripping, depressing, woeful; I loved every minute of it. At every plot twist and turn, I marveled at how idiotic the characters were. Why couldn’t they just work out their differences? Why didn’t the truth just spring to light immediately? The dramatic irony had such a great effect that it was unnerving and uncomfortable to be in the audience, and yet electric and charged throughout.

Needless to say, the acting was superb- there wasn’t a single character I did not wholeheartedly believe in. The people playing teachers, doctors or spoiled brats were teachers, doctors or spoiled brats (in my mind). The play was depressing, almost unbearably so, and at every moment I wanted to get up and leave so I didn’t have to watch the end- but for some reason, I couldn’t. The quality of the acting kept your eyes fastened to the stage with superglue. I don’t think I even blinked, the acting was so good. And at the end, I shook my head, came to, and, like every other person in the audience, blinked tears out of my eyes.

I enjoyed the play immensely. But there was a bittersweet moment as the play came to an end, and it is that moment that I should pay a special mention to. As the actors came forward for their standing ovation, I noticed that many of the seniors had tears in their eyes.

It was, of course, the last play for many drama veterans, and they had known it was coming all year. Senior Grace Brandt described it as “emotional.” Margie Muller, with 16 plays under her belt, said “I began to cry onstage… it was awful,” while Julianna Jarik commented “It hasn’t really sunk in yet. It doesn’t really feel like it’s ended. You could call it anticlimactic.” The fact is, this year we are losing some of the best actors we have- and, as an amateur thespian myself, I know it will be a crippling blow to the acting community.

But it’s not all bad. As the seniors move off to college (and some after spending their whole lives at Latin), many look back fondly. Margie Muller added that “It was amazing to end it like that, with some of the people I love the most.” Sarah Heilbronner said “While I’m sad to have performed my last show at Latin, I couldn’t think of any other cast I would rather have done it with.”

I couldn’t agree more. Good show seniors- if we could give you a standing ovation on the internet to see you out, we would. Adieu. I would say good luck, but you don’t need it.