The Father

By Florian Zeller
In a translation by Christopher Hampton
Directed by James Macdonald

Presented by Theatre Royal Bath Productions and Tricycle Theatre

WINNER of three Moliere Awards including Best Play 2014


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.

Author of this intriguing and compelling black comedy, Florian Zeller, has been hailed as “one of the hottest literary talents in France” (Independent). The Father (Le Père) is the winner of the 2014 Moliere Award for Best Play. The Molieres are considered France’s highest theatrical honour.

Nominated for a Tony Award for Stephen Daldry’s An Inspector Calls on Broadway, Kenneth Cranham’s numerous stage credits also include The Cherry Orchard at the National Theatre, The Homecoming at the Almeida and West End productions of Entertaining Mr Sloane, Loot, The Birthday Party and Gaslight. Screen credits range from the title role in Shine on Harvey Moon to Maleficent, Hot Fuzz, Oliver! and Hellbound: Hellraiser II.

For her role in The Glass Menagerie at the Donmar Warehouse, Claire Skinner won the Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Best Actress and the Time Out Award for Best Performance Off West End, as well as earning an Olivier Award nomination for Best Supporting Performance. Her theatre credits also include performances at the National Theatre, RSC, Almeida, Liverpool Everyman and the West End. Television credits include a BAFTA nominated performance in five series of Outnumbered, as well as Silk, Homefront, Doctor Who and Lark Rise To Candleford, while in film she has appeared in When Did You Last See Your Father, Strings and Sleepy Hollow.

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 nominated again in 2007 for adapting Ian McEwan’s novel Atonement. His television work includes adaptations of The History Man and Hotel du Lac.

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 range from Cock, Drunk Enough to Say I Love You and the European and US tours of Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis to Exiles at the National Theatre and Glengarry Glen Ross in the West End.

Top Theatre Show of 2014 Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

five_stars_small‘A distinguished rendering of an original drama’ The Observer

five_stars_small‘The Father is a quietly spoken revelation’ The Times

five_stars_small ‘It’s as sharp and surprising a play as you’ll see all year’ The Times

five_stars_small ‘Excellent… Claire Skinner is quietly moving’ Financial Times

five_stars_small ‘Kenneth Cranham giving the performance of his life’ WhatsOnStage

five_stars_small‘Brilliant… the acting is masterly’ Daily Mail

five_stars_small‘Ferocious, charming, playful’ The Guardian

five_stars_small‘Cranham’s performance is indelible’ The Sunday Times

five_stars_small‘My play – and my production – of the year so far’ The Mail On Sunday

five_stars_small‘Stunning’ The Evening Standard

five_stars_small ‘Skinner gives an unselfish, persuasive performance as Anna’ The Times

five_stars_small‘A performance of great emotional intelligence… Claire Skinner is subtly moving… there’s
perfectly pitched support 
from Jade Williams, Rebecca Charles, Jim Sturgeon and Colin Tierney’ Ham & High

five_stars_small‘Profoundly moving and darkly comic’ Londonist

FOUR STARS ‘Mesmerising’ The Stage

FOUR STARS ‘Heartbreaking… most moving’ The Independent

FOUR STARS ‘A searingly honest, admirably empathetic piece of work’ Time Out

Take a look at some rehearsal photos on our Facebook page

Watch the trailer:

Or watch our Behind-The-Scenes preview with Kenneth Cranham, Claire Skinner and James Macdonald on YouTube


This translation of Le Père was supported by the Institut Français du Royaume-Uni as part of the Cross Channel Theatre programme.

TRB-ustinov-[1]  Untitled-2

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4 Responses for “The Father”

  1. Eiji Mihara Says:

    This is one of the best French plays in decades! The French legend actor, Robert Hirsh is still playing it in Paris at the age of 89! The young Director, Ladislas Chollat is one of the best French a Directors today. I look forward to this English version of Christopher Hampton. This will be for Olivier 2016 certainly!!! Everyone, Run!!!

  2. Mairead Says:

    I saw this show last night. It is exceptionally well crafted and delivered, half thriller half black comedy. Cranham and Skinner’s performances made my heart ache,they played their parts so well so believably I cried all the way home.

  3. Priti Says:

    I saw this in the afternoon today with friends. It was the most moving powerful play i have seen for a long time. It was poignant to making us aware of how alzheimers can affect our loved ones and the toll it can take on the carers. So well acted and the stage changes were so clever. Go and see it!! Highly recommended. I cried too!!!

  4. Denise Says:

    We saw the Father last night. A phenomenal production. It was so moving and poignant that I could not stop my tears. A privilege to watch. Sublime acting. One of the Best plays I have ever seen.The cast received a well deserved standing ovation. Thank you so much to the cast and the Tricycle for a masterly production.

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Thu 7 May 2015 - Sat 13 Jun 2015

Evening Performances begin at 7.30pm

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Running Time: 95 mins (no interval)

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James Macdonald

Miriam Buether
Lighting Designer:
Guy Hoare
Sound Designer:
Christopher Shutt

Cast includes:
Kenneth Cranham
Claire Skinner
Rebecca Charles
Jim Sturgeon
Colin Tierney
Jade Williams