When a troubled teenager starts to spin a web of deceit, all around her are soon caught up in it. Karen Wright (Keira Knightley) and Martha Dobie (Elisabeth Moss) have worked for years to establish their all-girls boarding school, and now, with the school flourishing and Karen on the verge of marriage, their lives and loves finally appear secure. However, when malicious student Mary runs away from the school and seeks to avoid being sent back, she draws on hearsay, gossip, and her own imagination, to concoct a story that threatens the school, the marriage, and their entire futures.
Keira Knightley was last on stage in The Misanthrope directed by Thea Sharrock at the Comedy Theatre. Her many film credits include Never Let Me Go which opened the 2010 London Film Festival, Bend It Like Beckham, Love Actually, Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, King Arthur, The Jacket, Pride and Prejudice, Domino, Silk, Atonement, The Edge of Love , The Duchess, Last Night, and the forthcoming London Boulevard and A Dangerous Method. Her television credits include the critically acclaimed remake of Doctor Zhivago, Oliver and Coming Home.
Elisabeth Moss, who will make her West End debut in The Children’s Hour, is best known for playing the role of Peggy Olson in the ongoing award-winning television series Mad Men, for which she has received both Emmy Award and SAG Award nominations, as well as for the role of Zoe Bartlett in The West Wing. Moss made her Broadway stage debut in David Mamet’s Speed the Plow in 2008. Her film credits include Get Him to the Greek, Did you Hear About the Morgans? and Girl, Interrupted, as well as the forthcoming On the Road and Darling Companion.
Ian Rickson most recently directed the critically acclaimed production of Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem starring Mark Rylance. He has also directed Butterworth’s The Winterling, The Night Heron, Mojo and Parlour Song. Rickson was Artistic Director of the Royal Court from 1998-2006 where his many productions included Krapp’s Last Tape which he also directed for BBC4, Fallout which he also directed as a film for Channel 4, The Weir and Mojo both of which transferred to the West End and Broadway and the critically acclaimed production of The Seagull which was transferred to Broadway. For the National Theatre he has directed The Hothouse and The Day I Stood Still. Rickson’s production of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, starring Mary Louise Parker, opened on Broadway in 2009.
Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour was first staged on Broadway in 1934 where the play ran for over 2 years. The London premiere took place at the Gate Theatre. In 1994 Howard Davies directed a production for the National Theatre was a cast including Clare Higgins, Harriet Walter and Emily Watson. Hellman’s play was released as a film in 1961 under the title The Loudest Whisper starring Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine and James Garner, directed by William Wyler.