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THE FATHER at the Wyndhams

October 17, 2015

Farion Zeller’s new play THE FATHER at the Wyndhams was sometimes confusing. That is the point – the play is about the experience of Alzheimer’s disease. Here we have a very cleverly structured play which draws the audience into the breakdown of reality that is a central part of the experience of Alzheimers. Only with reflective objective hind sight can the audience begin to put the component scenes of the play together to reach a better understanding of the complete story. The almost disturbing confusion that develops during the play evolves into a deeper understanding of the experience of the sufferer and his family.

I do not know if this is written in the text of the play or if James Macdonald (Director) and Miriam Buether (Designer) have added another layer of experience through the design of the set. The set is both an allegory of the mind showing the confusion between memories and reality. A flat at the beginning of the play slowly disintegrates into an almost complete blank white set. The importance of the familiarity of surroundings to anchor us in the here and now is reinforced. Having had the experience of my Nan and a Great Aunt deteriorate through dementia I found this play a very powerful and worthwhile experience.

Sometimes theatre can do so much more than entertain!

The Father

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From → Theatre

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