They may be fond ones, hazy ones, strange or unpleasant – perhaps even traumatic. Fatherland, a bold and experimental play that premiered at the 2017 Manchester International Festival and transfers to Lyric Hammersmith in 2018, asks real sons and fathers this deceptively simple question.
The result has been hailed as ‘moving and euphoric’ (The Stage). A cast of thirteen brings to life the experiences of real men and boys. Asked about their relationship with their fathers (or those who stood in for them), they deliver responses – replicated verbatim on stage – that are heartfelt, damning, angry, cavalier, frustrated, or steeped in a sense of loss.
Playwright Simon Stephens worked with Scott Graham of Frantic Assembly, an award-winning collaborative theatre company, and composer Karl Hyde, interviewing men from their hometowns of Kidderminster, Corby and Stockport. Their answers are woven into a complex and often harrowing exploration of British masculinity, anchored to the experience of growing up in these places.
The production is an intensely physical one. Fatherland is punctuated by sequences of dance and movement that incorporate all characters, and which make real the high emotion that runs through the piece. The play’s framing and narrative also promise to deliver on innovation. In a metatheatrical flourish, characters interrogate the play’s three creators about their emotional investment in the piece and even their stylistic choices. This adds a layer to Fatherland: even its creators are made to divulge their fraught personal histories.
|What||Fatherland, Lyric Hammersmith Theatre|
|Where||Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, King St, W6 0QL | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Hammersmith (Piccadilly and District lines) (underground)|
25 May 18 – 23 Jun 18, Monday - Thursday and Saturday 19.30, Friday 20:00
|Price||£15 - £40|
|Website||Click here for more details|