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The Father returns to the West End

Reporter: Charlotte Marshall, first published Mon 11 Jan 2016 16:09

The five star hit production of Florian Zeller’s The Father will return to the West End next month for a limited five week run. Kenneth Cranham will reprise his critically acclaimed leading performance.

James Macdonald’s hugely successful production premiered at the Theatre Royal Bath in 2014 before transferring to both the Tricycle Theatre and the West End’s Wyndham’s Theatre. This latest run will play at the Duke of York’s Theatre from 24 February to 26 March before the production heads off on a national tour.

The French playwright’s Molière Award-winning play won plaudits from London audiences for its intriguing bewildering narrative and poignant performances. Cranham will reprise his role as 80-year-old Andre, a former tap dancer who now lives with his daughter Anne and her husband Antoine. Or was he an engineer whose daughter Anne lives in London with her new lover, Pierre? The thing is, he is still wearing his pyjamas, he can’t find his watch and is starting to wonder if he’s losing control.

Talking about the disturbing play when Official London Theatre interviewed Zeller last year, the playwright said: “It’s a pleasure to write something that disorientates people and it is what I really like as a spectator; by becoming a part of the action by trying to work out what is going on and to discover again and again that you know nothing. With The Father I really tried to make people feel the story from the inside of the illness.”

Following its West End opening, Official London Theatre’s Kate Stanbury hailed The Father as “an example of drama at its most exceptional”, saying: “Kenneth Cranham’s performance beautifully captures a mind disorientated by dementia in Florian Zeller’s staggeringly brilliant play”.

Further details as to who will join Cranham, who is a familiar face on stage with credits including West End productions of Entertaining Mr Sloane, Loot, The Birthday Party and Gaslight, will be announced in the coming weeks.

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