Review: The Father
André lives in his flat where Anne, his daughter, visits him. He’d rather his daughter Elise visited but she’s busy with her art work. Or is she? And who is Pierre? And why does Laura keep coming around?
This show explores reality and perception in a family situation which is familiar to many people. What happens when memory starts to disappear and when does that become a problem? It’s an excellent script (and translation) which tends towards the more comedic side of aging. This doesn’t detract from the struggle and emotions of the characters as they deal with what is happening. Jeffrey Thomas plays André. Thomas gives him a faded sense of his former charm which still shows through as the character loses his memory. Danielle Mason is his daughter Anne with her fussy movements at the beginning of the show translating to emotional worry at the end. Gesture is important as characters mirror each other and swap mannerisms. Perhaps it is the repetition of both words and physicality but this ensemble (including Gavin Rutherford, Harriet Prebble, Simon Leary and Bronwyn Turei) feels established.
The set echoes the progress of the script with a blackout between scenes allowing for the stage to be reset. This enhances the sense that time and reality are strange. It stretches, pauses, repeats and skips, keeping the audience ever so slightly unbalanced.
- The Father on at Circa Theatre to 11 November 2017