Lear casts his shadow over The Father, an intriguing, confounding thriller of a play.

André is 80 and once again he seems to have lost his watch, which is not so very odd. But why do people keep moving the furniture around? Why does his daughter keep contradicting herself? And who are all the strange people who keep arriving?

André – a former engineer and perhaps a one-time tap dancer – is the main protagonist in The Father, a 2012 play by French writer Florian Zeller, which won France’s prestigious Molière Award for Best Play. Translated by British playwright Christopher Hampton  (Les Liaisons Dangereuses), it had British seasons in Bath and North London before moving into the West End in 2015.

The Guardiancalled The Fathera “slippery but hugely rewarding play”, saying: “It’s a play that constantly confounds expectations and works almost like a thriller, with a sinister Pinteresque edge, as complete strangers keep on turning up at André’s flat.” Last year it was produced in America on Broadway where the New York Timescritic said that it “offers one of the most disorienting experiences in town”. Sydney and Melbourne Theatre Companies are now co-producing the Australian...

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