Theatre preview: The Father, Birmingham Rep

The most-acclaimed new play of the decade comes to the Rep this week. John Kennedy looks ahead to The Father.

Having garnered more stars than Prof. Brian Cox could cram into a mini-series, Kenneth Cranham’s portrayal as the aging Andre going through a crisis of memory and identity saw him awarded Best Actor at the 2016 Olivier Awards. This critically-acclaimed production comes direct from the West End, where Christopher Hampton’s sympathetic but incisive translation of Florian Zeller’s 2014 Molière Award-winning play wowed audiences and critics in equal measure.

Along with Cranham is an ensemble of highly-regarded actors including Amanda Drew (EastEnders, Broadchurch) as his daughter Anne, as well as Rebecca Charles, Brian Doherty, Daniel Flynn and Jade Williams.

James Macdonald’s production drew the following five-star accolade from The Times: “The Father is a revelation, as sharp and surprising a play as you’ll see all year.”

Seeing Cranham on stage will convince you that reclaiming the integrity of that tired trope “national treasure” is long overdue.

The Father runs at the Rep, May 3-7. For more information, visit



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