The Children's Hour


Massachusetts, 1934. A number of adolescent girls’ gossip, sew and pretend to do their homework – overseen by Mrs. Lily Mortar – a failed actress. All are pupils at the school founded by two women, Karen Wright and Martha Dobie. The two founders are proud of their creation and seem all set for a happy and successful future. Karen in particular is looking forward to her wedding to Joe Cardin, the local doctor.
The only ‘fly in the ointment’ seems to be Lily Mortar - Martha’s aunt, who helps with the pupils. Her casual remark starts a lie that is overheard by a child who willfully misinterprets the situation. The lie begins to take hold – and the poison starts to spread… The lie is that the two women are having a romantic affair. Lillian Hellman has said that the play is not about lesbianism, but about a lie, and its repercussions.

Critically acclaimed when first produced in 1934, it was then banned in many countries (including Britain) because of its subject matter. The play was inspired by the 1810 true story of two Scottish female schoolteachers, whose lives were destroyed when one of their pupils accused them of pursuing an affair. The teachers later won a court case, but by then the damage to their lives and reputations was done. Hellman’s play goes to the heart of human relationships – jealousy, bullying, coercive control – all are here – and the drama feels as fresh today as it did when it was written. The characters are wonderfully complex and original; it’s a true psychological thriller.

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Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Adult£10.00 per adult

Note: Prices are a guide only and may change on a daily basis.

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The Children's Hour


Bingley Arts Centre, Main Street, Bingley, West Yorkshire, BD16 2LZ
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Tel01274 567983

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Outside Bingley Little Theatre at the Bingley Arts CentreBingley Arts Centre, BingleyBingley Arts Centre is a fully equipped community theatre that is popular for amateur dramatics, dance, musical productions and other social events. There are bar facilities and car parking.

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