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Children's Cancels for Repair, Extends to 7 May

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Theatregoers expecting a Valentine's Day treat at The Children's Hour this evening will be in for a disappointment as the owners of the Comedy Theatre, Ambassadors Theatre Group (ATG) have announced the cancellation of tonight's performance due to "emergency building repairs".

Although the issue is believed to be "structural" and above the stage rather than the auditorium, the all-star cast led by Elisabeth Moss and Keira Knightley - who opened the play last Wednesday (9 February 2011, previews from 22 January) - should only get one extra night off and are expected to resume performances tomorrow night (15 February 2011).

Reseating those affected by tonight's cancellation may be easier than expected, as the production has this morning announced it has extended its booking until 7 May 2011. Having already extended before the show even opened, originally through to 30 April rather than 2 April, the show now plays 12 weeks at the Comedy through to the beginning of May.

Knightley and American screen star Elisabeth Moss star as Karen Wright and Martha Dobie, teachers at a girls’ boarding school who are accused by a disgruntled student of having a lesbian relationship. They are joined by a stellar cast that also features Tobias Menzies, Ellen Burstyn and Carol Kane.

The Children's Hour was last produced in London by the National Theatre in 1994. Writer Lillian Hellman’s other plays include The Dark Angel, Watch on the Rhine, The Autumn Garden and her best-known work, The Little Foxes, which was also made into a 1941 film starring Bette Davis.

This revival is the first new production for former Royal Court artistic director Ian Rickson since his success with Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem, which transferred to the West End last year after premiering at the Royal Court.

The cast also comprises Lisa Backwell (Evelyn Munn), Isabella Brazier-Jones (Helen Burton), Ellen Burstyn (Mrs Amelia Tilford), Poppy Carter (Janet), Marama Corlett (Lois Fisher), Nancy Crane (Agatha), Amy Dawson (Rosalie Wells), Isabel Ellison (Catherine), Bryony Hannah (Mary Tilford), Carol Kane (Mrs Lily Mortar), Tobias Menzies (Doctor Joseph Cardin), Nathan Nolan (Grocery Boy) and Eve Ponsonby (Peggy Rogers).

The Children's Hour is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions and Scott Landis.


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