Oldham Coliseum Theatre’s North West premiere of The Father is receiving praise across the board with four Five-Star reviews in its first week.
“As I looked around the Oldham Coliseum Theatre at the end of the show, it was clear to see that so many people had been moved by The Father. Two ladies sat in front of me wiped the tears from their eyes as others appeared to be sharing stories, clearly deeply touched by this phenomenal production”
– Upstaged Manchester
The Father is French literary sensation Florian Zeller’s Molière Award winning play about an 80 year old man with dementia. Originally produced in French in 2012, it was translated into English by multi-award winning writer Christopher Hampton (stage and screen writer of Les Liaisons Dangereuses / Dangerous Liaisons) with its English premiere at Theatre Royal Bath in October 2014.
“Why is it ground breaking? Because it is unafraid to tackle one of the major issues of contemporary life all too often swept under the carpet”
– Remote Goat
The Coliseum’s production is directed by Chief Executive and Artistic Director, Kevin Shaw, and stars actor, director and twice former Artistic Director of the Coliseum, Kenneth Alan Taylor, in the lead role of André. Throughout the play we see André’s charming, playful and dark sense of humour shine through, despite his weakening memory.
“Kenneth Alan Taylor’s performance is beautifully nuanced and alert to the comic elements in the situation”
– Manchester Theatre Awards
The symptoms of dementia also deeply affect people’s loved-ones and Kenneth Alan Taylor is joined on stage by a talented cast including Kerry Peers as his daughter, Anne, John Elkington as her partner, Pierre, Jo Mousley as Andre’s likeable carer, Laura, Helen Kay as The Woman and Colin Connor as The Man.
“At its core is the deeply moving relationship between parent and child: the parent, André, now 80 years old and suffering with dementia; the child, Anne, a devoted and loyal daughter struggling to balance her own relationship with the unconditional love for her father, and his increasing care demands.”
– The Arts Shelf
Designer Patrick Connellan’s set sees the action raised into a wide box, but as we look through André’s eyes we’re not entirely sure where we are. Is it André’s flat, his daughter’s, or somewhere else entirely?
“A broken piano sits in the foreground of Patrick Connellan’s set; something once capable of beautiful things, now incapable of repair.”
– Oldham Evening Chronicle
“This is a very good production of a very powerful play about very important stuff. Everyone should see it.”
– Northern Soul