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The Father (2019)

 A Tragic Farce 

Winner of the 2014 Molière award for France’s best play.


Mar 16th to 23rd 2019

Written by Florian Zeller. Translated by Christopher Hampton.

Directed by John Ruscoe

 A Tragic Farce 

Winner of the 2014 Molière award for France’s best play.


His things are being stolen, one daughter wants to take his flat away, the other one never visits. He is threatened with violence and strangers are coming in and out of his flat and saying that they are friends and family. Andre knows that he must find some way to assert his authority.


Described as a "savagely honest study of dementia", ‘The Father’ makes us see things as if through the confused eyes of André, as he struggles to make sense of a progressively befuddling world.


Sound grim? It’s not.


It’s a play that constantly confounds expectations and works almost like a thriller, with a sinister Pinteresque edge, as complete strangers keep on turning up in André’s flat. There are strong echoes of ‘King Lear’, both in the impending madness and the father-daughter relationships, but there is also comedy in a situation that has its farcical elements even as the tragedy unfolds.


What the Reviewers said about the Criterion's Production 


"Moving study of man's rage against the dying of the light"


"Life for this elderly titular figure is a constant nightmare of confusion. He is surrounded by walls that are forever reality of the most terrifying proportions . . . . At the centre of it all is a towering performance by Keith Railton .The whole is shaped and magnified by John Ruscoe’s unflinching direction which heightens the ongoing sense of paranoia with contrasting light and shade and claustrophobic images of room-to-room internment."    Peter McGarry


"Keith Railton gives an extraordinary performance in the central role, remembering lines that Andre would forget in an instant and giving us a clear insight into what it is like to be a human being losing his own clarity of thought and understanding.


Under John Ruscoe’s direction, Simon Sharpe’s set design and some ingenious use of lighting and music, we are given a sense of a man whose world has shrunk to the point where he is a child again."                   


Chris Arnot 


"Given the dark nature of this material we need some light. We get it in Keith Railton’s magnificent performance. Andre’s character has been compared to that of Lear, and in Railton’s hands there is good reason. Besieged, despised, terribly lonely, he fights back with powerful if misplaced energy, and in doing so he gains a certain dignity."  


Nick le Mesurier


(To read all three reviews in full click on 'The Review' above the photos of the production)




This amateur production of ‘THE FATHER’ (Hampton/ Zeller) was presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH LTD.