Joan, “A play about a wonderful mum and an ungrateful son,” teasingly dances in front of me as I contemplate who Joan will turn out to be. An Irish immigrant who travels to New Zealand to be with her husband, bringing their twins with her, I imagine this woman to be enterprising and pioneering.
by Laura Ferguson
There is always something incredibly special about being at Circa Theatre, and tonight is no different. Gathered in the foyer, wine or beer in hand, we are here to see the opening night of Molière award-winning, The Father by Florian Zeller. The glitz and glam of theatre comes alive in our faces, a sparkle roguishly twinkles in an eye, dazzling smiles beguile, a sparking crackle of infectious laughter catapults through the room. Anticipation for Zeller’s black comedy creating a susurrus throughout the room... We sit, the lights dim, the play begins. I am immediately enthralled.
The Father is a black comedy surrounding the titular character André (Jeffrey Thomas) and his struggles with Alzheimer’s. His daughter, Anne (Danielle Mason), tries so hard to keep her father comfortable, while simultaneously attempting to lead her own life. In every scene, André is sure he is in his own flat, except the furniture and artwork continuously changes around him, so I know that can’t be true. The disintegration and reforming of what is true and what is not becomes a constant of The Father. I am forced to examine each new truth as André states them. We are in England, no, we’re in Paris. This is André’s flat, no actually, it’s Anne’s husband, Pierre’s. Zeller’s conceptual writing style creates a piece of art that looks disjointed and confused as I walk around it, but when I strike that perfect angle, everything lines up and makes sense. Sadly, this moment never quite comes for André and he wanders, endlessly lost, even as others consistently tell him he has seen it’s true form many times.
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