Kenneth Cranham reprises role in acclaimed dementia drama, The Father

The Father. Images Mark Douet.
The Father. Images Mark Douet.

The Father, the most highly acclaimed new play of the last decade, comes to Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre this week, as part of a national tour, after garnering a host of five-star national reviews and unanimous praise from its two West End runs.

The production is in the running at this year’s Olivier Awards, which are announced next week, for Best Actor (Kenneth Granham) and Best New Play.

Written by one of France’s most celebrated living playwrights, Florian Zeller, and winner of the 2014 Moliere Award for Best Play, The Father tells the story of one man’s battle with early onset dementia and the love ones who try to cope with the situation.

It has dazzled audiences and critics alike since it first opened and swept the board with five star reviews from major national newspaper critics.

Christopher Hampton’s sparky translation stars Kenneth Cranham, reprising his unforgettable performance as Andre. He is joined by Amanda Drew who plays his daughter Anne.

The Father-309-credit Simon Annand

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.

One of the country’s most illustrious actors, Kenneth Cranham’s many credits include An Inspector Calls on Broadway. His West End stage credits include Entertaining Mr. Sloane, Loot, The Birthday Party and Gaslight.

He has performed at London’s Royal Court and the National Theatre on numerous occasions. On television, he played the title role in Shine on Harvey Moon; and his extensive screen credits range from Merlin, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, The Line of Beauty and Rome, to Our Mutual Friend, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and El Cid.

His film work includes Maleficent, Made in Dagenham, Valkyrie, Hot Fuzz, Layer Cake, Oliver!, Two Men Went to War, The Boxer, Under Suspicion, Hellbound: Hellraiser II and Chocolat.

For his role in The Father Cranham has already won the 2015 Critics Circle Award for Best Actor.

Amanda Drew’s theatre credits include Three Days in the Country (National Theatre), Love and Information (Royal Court) and Enron (Royal Court, West End) while her TV credits include EastEnders.

Rebecca Charles and Jade Williams play their original roles as Woman and Laura respectively and are joined by Brian Doherty and Daniel Flynn.

Spring tour 2016

March 28-April 2, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford
April 4-9, Hall for Cornwall, Truro
April 11- 16, Richmond Theatre
April 18-23, Theatre Royal Newcastle
April 25-30, Brighton Theatre Royal
May 2-7, Birmingham Rep
May 9-14, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham

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