A few weeks ago I went to see a play I’d heard a lot of great things about, The Father. The Father is a play about a man with dementia, and how his daughter deals with his regression over a period of some years. The play takes us quickly through the decline of a person and is long, harrowing and heartbreaking.
This was a beautiful, emotion-filled performance that actually brought back some painful memories from my own life that I didn’t even realise I was still holding on to. Some of the mannerisms used for the part of the Father were eerily similar to the ones I recognised in my own grandparents when they were ill before they unfortunately died, the acting on his part in particular was fantastic, occasionally leaving the other actor lagging behind.
It was harrowing throughout, yet humour was used to point out how we deal with these situations, smiling to get through. Simply put, this is fantastically written. The writing propels this forward while the strong, fragmented direction style presents memories as fragile as they really are. Even going as far as playing with the audience’s own memory, bringing these subjects to light in a brilliant way. Simplistic yet highly effective lighting, sound and adaptive naturalistic staging all help to add to this feeling of the frailness of life and our mental health.
Simply put, this is one of the best pieces of theatre I have seen so far this year. it is only on until the 26th of March so go see it while you have the chance!