Podcast episode 4: The Hut by the Harbour


The fourth episode of our podcast, Wise Children’s Detention, is now available on podbean, Itunes and other podcast platforms.

This week Emma talks to artists Beth Carter & Stuart Mitchell, about the animation they’ve created for Wise Children’s production of Wise Children.

The animation takes Nora and Dora Chance from Brixton to Chelsea, from the wrong side of tracks to legitimacy, as they attend Melchior Hazard’s 100th birthday party.

The animation is also a carefully considered solution to a pivotal and tricky moment in the production, and Emma discusses how she makes these kinds of choices when staging a show.

Wise Children opens at The Old Vic next week, and tickets are on sale now for performances at: The Old Vic, London, Oxford Playhouse, Cambridge Arts Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, HOME ManchesterYork Theatre Royal, Storyhouse Chesterand Belgrade Theatre Coventry

Episode 3 of Wise Children’s podcast is available now



The third episode of Wise Children’s Detention, our new podcast, is now available on podbean, Itunes and other platforms.

This week Emma talks to the Wise Children producing team, Judith Dimant, Poppy Keeling and Matt Lister and asks them to explain how a theatre company works.  Recorded at Ashton Court, Bristol, and set against a backdrop of the early stages of rehearsal for Wise Children, this episode is a warts-and-all insight into how theatre gets made.

Wise Children’s Detention: Episode 2


The second episode of our podcast, Wise Children’s Detention, is now available on podbean, Itunes and other podcast platforms.

Episode Two is about the School for Wise Children, a training course for alternative, multi-disciplinary theatre makers led by Emma and her collaborators, and about Emma’s desire to make her training truly accessible to all.

In this episode we hear from Emma and co-leader of the School, composer Ian Ross, as they launch the first Module and explore their ideas with 12 wonderful musicians from across the country.

The School for Wise Children’s second Module, An Introduction to Ensemble Theatre, is currently open for applications.

With thanks to everyone who took part in first Module in June 2018, and the Arnolfini Bristol for hosting.

Wise Children’s Detention: our new podcast series

We are excited (and perhaps a little nervous!) to announce that the first episode of our podcast series, Wise Children’s Detention, is now available.

Determined to not only share some of our processes and adventures, but also to document this incredible time, we’ve been busy recording key company moments over the last months.

The first episode is available here and can also be found on Itunes and Google Play.

Episode 1: New Beginnings. Recorded in June 2018 and hosted by Emma, the first episode features key members of the Wise Children team and some rare and exclusive workshop footage from the early stages of the Wise Children creative process.

We’ll be releasing a new episode each week for the next six weeks – so please come back for more. And let us know what you think!


The School for Wise Children is back!

Emma Rice’s School for Wise Children

An Introduction to Ensemble Theatre: music, movement and making

Monday 5, Tuesday 6, Thursday 8 and Friday 9 November, 1-4pm each day. Central London venue TBC. £160, with free and discounted places available. 

Emma Rice’s unique blend of stage magic relies on a creative ensemble who use all the tools in their theatrical kit to bring stories to life.

This four-day course offers an introduction to ensemble theatre making with each day focusing on a different aspect of the work. Emma will lead sessions on building an ensemble, Etta Murfitt will explore the language of movement and Ian Ross looks at creating music for theatre.

At the end of the course, Emma will bring the strands together, demonstrating how this toolkit can create surprise and wonder.

This course is perfect for people who love physical, visual storytelling theatre and want a taste of how it’s made. All participants will dance, sing and perform but don’t need any previous experience of performing to take part.


Please complete the application form.

If you have any questions about applying, you can email us at: office@wisechildren.co.uk

Applications must be received by 5pm Thursday 4 October. Successful applicants will be informed on Tuesday 9 October.

The course is aimed at ages 18+, but younger applicants will be considered.


If you receive Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension, Credit Guarantee Credit, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Universal Credit, Housing Benefit or support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, you’re eligible for a free place at The School for Wise Children.

As well as a free place, we may also be able to cover travel, accommodation and / or other costs.

Discounted places for current students cost £100.


Award-winning choreographer and dancer Etta Murfitt is Wise Children’s Movement Director. Trained at the London Contemporary Dance School, Etta is also the Associate Artistic Director for Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures and is a founder member of the Company, as well as leading its educational: Re:Bourne. She created roles for Matthew’s Adventures in motion Pictures (AMP) between 1992 and 2002 and became Assistant Artistic Director in 1995. Etta has also worked extensively with Emma Rice, with choreography credits including: Romantic’s Anonymous (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse), The Tin Drum (Kneehigh Theatre / UK Tour), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe), Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Kneehigh Theatre Co. / Leicester Curve and Gielgud Theatre).

Ian Ross is Wise Children’s Director of Music. Born in Somerset, Ian began his musical life playing in bands in the back of vans and travelling up and down the country and across Europe as trombonist for festival favourites Babyhead and The Zen Hussies. From a degree in Musical Instrument Technology (guitar building and the finer points of the use of paper in European pipe organs), to being lead tutor at Bath Festival Trust’s Creative factory, Ian has a breadth of experience of music and the many ways it has of contributing to the human experience. As a performer and Music Director, Ian has toured extensively for Kneehigh over the last ten years in shows including; The Red ShoesDon JohnThe Wild BrideTristan and Yseult and The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk. As composer: Twelfth Night (The Globe), The Very Old Man with Enormous WingsThe Flying Lovers of Vitebsk (Kneehigh).

Photo: Steve Tanner


The Wise Children Club


Emma Rice’s vision of Wise Children is of a new kind of theatre company: inclusive, ambitious, passionate and generous.

Over the next four years we are committed to achieving three things:

  1. We will create landmark work with exceptional artists and tour it across the country: challenging outmoded theatre touring models and reinvigorating the UK’s glorious tradition of the travelling players.
  2. We’ll run The School for Wise Children, a training course for alternative, ensemble theatre makers led by Emma and her closest collaborators, and make 50% of places available for free.
  3. We’ll discover the creative spaces of the future, asking what kinds of environments are conducive to art-making, and how a touring company that’s always on the move can travel with the ingredients of creativity.

To make all this possible we’re going to start a grassroots movement of energy and support: the Wise Children Club – a group of champions who believe we can do all this, and can help us on our way. 

Membership of the Club costs anything from £10 a year, for which you’ll get regular email updates from Emma, invites to an annual members-only event with the company, and access to priority ticket booking.


More importantly, you also get to be part of Wise Children’s mission to transform the world of theatre, making it a fairer, more accessible, more diverse and more joyful place.

Everyone involved with Wise Children – from those treading the boards to the Board themselves – has joined the Club, to show our collective commitment to the Wise Children mission.

To join the Club, and champion the company, you can donate here, giving as much as you feel able to give.

Thank you!

Wise Children tickets on sale now!

We are delighted to announce that tickets for our first show are on sale now.

The Old Vic and Wise Children present

A co-production with Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Oxford Playhouse, York Theatre Royal 

Wise Children

By Angela Carter

Adapted and directed by Emma Rice

Performances at The Old Vic from 8 October – 10 November: Buy Tickets

Performances at Oxford Playhouse from 13 – 17 November: Buy Tickets

Performances at Cambridge Arts Theatre from 20 – 24 November: Buy Tickets