Sunday 18 February 2018


The Father review at Everyman Theatre

Tackling tough issues, using clever staging and culminating in an emotional final scene, audiences were reaching for the tissues when the Oliver Award-winning play, The Father, came to Everyman Theatre.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house at Everyman Theatre on Monday 9 May 2016, when the highly acclaimed play, The Father, opened in Cheltenham.

Shining a light on what it’s like to live with dementia, the play depicted an 80-year-old man’s desperate struggle to hold onto some control and independence; and his daughter’s emotional battle as she faces a tough decision about what to do with him.

The play managed to welcome the audience into a familiar living room, with common themes of familial love, while simultaneously totally isolating them with ever-changing characters, disappearing props and repetitive dialogue, depicting what it’s like to suffer from dementia.

Similarly, the show, which ran for over an hour without an interval, saw scenes play out before cutting to black with stuttering music, then jumping back to the play mid-scene, throwing the audience off completely, just as they were getting to grips with the plot.


Even the actors were brimming with tears as the final curtain closed on what was one of the most emotional experiences at Everyman Theatre.


Having recently won an Olivier award for Best Male Actor in The Father, Kenneth Cranham excelled as the main character, with audience members standing to applaud him after the final emotional scene.

Similarly, his daughter, played by Amanda Drew, perfectly encapsulated the sentiment of the play, embodying everything from heartbreak and love, to anger and exhaustion.

Showing audiences what it’s like to mix reality and dreams up in your mind, as well as confusing people for others, the characters were interchangeable, with Amanda Drew playing the daughter in one scene, before being replaced in the next.

Kenneth Cranham said in a recent interview with SoGlos, ‘I actually had a letter from a man who saw the play recently who thanked me as he could finally understand what his own father went through.’

However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom, and while tackling some tough issues, the play was packed with gentle humour and heart-warming scenes, while Kenneth Cranham demonstrated his tap-dancing skills and charming ways.

With audiences reaching for the tissues throughout the play, I think everyone could empathise with at least one of the characters, with even the actors brimming with tears as the final curtain closed on what was one of the most emotional experiences at Everyman Theatre.


The Father will be at Everyman Theatre until Saturday 14 May 2016, for more information see The Father at Everyman Theatre, call (01242) 572573, or visit everymantheatre.org.uk directly.


By Alice Lloyd

© SoGlos
Wednesday 11 May 2016

Your comments...

More reviews you might like...

The Old Courthouse, the new pub restaurant replacing Jamie’s Italian Cheltenham, offers a relaxed place to drink, dine and play Scrabble!

The Old Courthouse review

The jury’s out on just what Jamie Oliver would think of The Old Courthouse, the new Cheltenham pub restaurant which has replaced...

Quartet proved the perfect play with an excellent cast and plenty of laughs.

Quartet review at the Everyman Theatre

Shining a hilarious light onto the woes of ageing, Quartet offered uplifting entertainment peppered with dirty jokes, farcical...

Dominated by an impressive Regency dome, The Ivy Montpellier Brasserie in Cheltenham has transformed the stunning Grade I listed Montpellier Rotunda.

The Ivy Montpellier Brasserie review

Come for the stunning interiors, stay for the incredible cuisine, return time-and-time-again for the impeccable service. The...

The SoGlos team jumped at the chance of trying Cheltenham’s newest fitness hot spot.

Fluid Pilates Bootcamp #SoGlosTeamReview

Armed with water bottles, gym leggings and a curiosity to try out Cheltenham’s latest fitness class, the SoGlos girls...

Here’s what the SoGlos team thought of breakfast at Bill’s Gloucester.

Bill's Gloucester Quays breakfast #SoGlosTeamReview

With a Friday feeling in the air and rumbling appetites in tow, the SoGlos team headed to Bill’s Gloucester Quays to...

Unmissable highlights