Fringe Club Play-Reading Group in Association with The English-Speaking Union (ESU) Hong Kong.
Date: 15th January 2019 (Tuesday)
Venue: “Colette’s” 2/F, The HK Fringe Club, 2 Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong
The Play this time : The Father (2014) by Florian Zeller
Facilitator : Mike Ingham (Lingnan University)
**Certificates will be awarded for Continuous Professional Development credit
The Father is a contemporary play translated from the original drama, Le Père, which premiered in Paris in September 2012, and won the Molière Award for Best Play in 2014. Written by French novelist and playwright Florian Zeller, Le Père was translated to English by Christopher Hampton, who is well-known for his own plays and his translation-adaptations to theatre script and screenplay, especially of the notorious Laclos novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses in the 1980s. Kenneth Cranham and Frank Langella, lead actors in the title role, won the Laurence Olivier Award (U.K.) and the Tony Award (U.S.) for best actors respectively in the English language productions of The Father. In 2017 The Father was performed in Cantonese by Hong Kong Repertory Theatre, and Fredric Mao Chun Fai and Fung Wai Hang were awarded Best Actor and Best Director in the category of tragedy/drama respectively.
The main characters in The Father are André, who suffers from dementia, and his daughter Anne, who juggles her time between her father, her boyfriend, and her job. André is self-assured one moment, and uncertain the next. He cannot be sure whether he has remained in his own flat or where he has placed his watch, for example. He rejects all the careers hired by Anne, and he is at time suspicious of her intentions, even though she attends to him conscientiously. Anne’s boyfriend, Pierre, proposes sending André to an institution to relieve her pressure and frustration. Some scenes and snippets are repeated with slight variation, and the audience wonders which one, if any, is the reality, and which one is a result of Andre’s memory recall with gaps and errors.
Other plays and films explore the issues of dementia within a family, but The Father allows the audience to observe the world through André’s eyes and ailing mind, thereby increasing our sense of empathy for and engagement with all of the protagonists. Described as a tragic farce in terms of its genre, this unsettling play presents a brutally honest depiction of the uncertainties of living with dementia - both as the one who sufferers mental disintegration and those who can only attempt to remedy its effects on their loved one. Zeller creates a deliberately ambiguous world in his script which was brilliantly matched by its production design in critically acclaimed performances in Paris, New York, London and Hong Kong among other cities.
All are welcome.
Please do join us at Tuesday, 15th January 2019 at 7.15pm at The Fringe Club for an entertaining evening of Play-Reading. We look forward to seeing you again or meeting you if you are a new play-reader and wish to participate. You will be very welcome.
**The English-Speaking Union (ESU) Hong Kong is a registered charity under Section 88 of the Hong Kong Inland Revenue Ordinance (charity reference 91/6295) .