Culture

The Father, at the Birmingham Rep

The Father press image (1)One of the most highly acclaimed new play of the last decade, The Father, comes to Birmingham Repertory Theatre from Tuesday 3 to Saturday 7 May, with Olivier Award Best Actor winner, Kenneth Cranham recreating his West End role direct from a celebrated second London run.

Written by one of France’s most celebrated living playwrights, Florian Zeller, hailed as “one of the hottest literary talents in France” (The Independent), and winner of the 2014 Moliere Award for Best Play, France’s highest theatrical honour, The Father has dazzled audiences and critics alike since it first opened and received an unprecedented ten five-star reviews from major national newspaper critics.

This crisp and witty translation by Christopher Hampton of the intriguing and compelling drama stars Kenneth Cranham, who reprises his unforgettable performance as Andre, and is joined by Amanda Drew, as his daughter Anne.

Now 80 years old, Andre was once a tap dancer. He 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, and he can’t find his watch. He is starting to wonder if he’s losing control.

One of the country’s most illustrious actors, Kenneth Cranham’s myriad credits include An Inspector Calls on Broadway. His many West End stage credits include Entertaining Mr. Sloane, Loot, The Birthday Party and Gaslight. He has performed at London’s Royal Court and the National Theatre on numerous occasions.  On television, he played the title role in Shine On Harvey Moon; and his extensive credits range fromMerlin, Tess Of The D’urbervilles, The Line Of Beauty And Rome, to Our Mutual Friend, The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall and El Cid. His film work includes Maleficent, Made In Dagenham, Valkyrie, Hot Fuzz, Layer Cake, Oliver!, Two Men Went To War, The Boxer, Under Suspicion, Hellbound: Hellraiser II and Chocolat.  For his role in The Father, Kenneth won the 2016 Olivier Award for Best Actor and the 2015 Critics Circle Award for Best Actor.

Amanda Drew’s theatre credits include Three Days In The Country (National Theatre), Love And Information (Royal Court) and Enron (Royal Court, West End), whilst her TV credits include EastEnders and Broadchurch. Rebecca Charles and Jade Williams play their original roles as Woman and Laura respectively, and are joined by Brian Doherty and Daniel Flynn.

Christopher Hampton has translated plays by Ibsen, Molière, Chekhov and Yasmina Reza including Art and Life x 3. He won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for the adaptation of his own play, Dangerous Liaisons. He was Academy Award-nominated again in 2007 for adapting Ian McEwan’s novel, Atonement. His television work includes adaptations of The History Man and Hotel Du Lac. 

Director James Macdonald has worked extensively Off-Broadway where he was recently the winner of the 2014 Obie Award for Best Director for Love And Information. He was Associate Director of the Royal Court from 1992 to 2007 and his numerous credits include Blasted, Drunk Enough to Say I Love You, the European and US tours of Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis, Exiles at the National Theatre and Glengarry Glen Ross in the West End.  The production is designed by Miriam Buether, with lighting by Guy Hoare and sound by Christopher Shutt

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