The Son by Florian Zeller, adapted by Christopher Hampton

 

IMG_8129This is the 3rd play I have seen by Florian Zeller and each time I am overwhelmed how he gets inside people’s brains and has the audience understanding a persons behaviour from a different perspective.

Nicolas has been playing truant, keeping information from his family, and stashing bizarre objects under his mattress. As his family slowly starts falling to pieces, his parents can’t help but wonder if they should be worried of their son’s erratic behaviour or if it’s all just the day in the life of a teenager. Loss and mental illness take centre stage in Florian Zeller’s compelling French drama.

This thought provoking play focused on teenage depression and family relationships. At what point should we question our child’s behaviour as being “abnormal” and especially in a  family where the dynamics have changed. We could go around in circles finding excuses for this behaviour but what should be the trigger to make us stop and investigate?

I watched this show with my heart in my mouth, recognising behaviours in my daughter, the self harm that is played down as innocent scrapes, or the truancy from school. #MentalIllness allows the sufferer to be extremely creative with their answers hoping to fool everyone yet really hoping that someone recognises the struggles and takes control.

A scene played out in the hospital a week after a suicide attempt with the doctors and nurses insisting that Nicolas should remain in hospital and the believable argument from the patient who convinces his parents that he has learned from his experience. This scene was superb yet heart breaking, sitting beside my sister at the end of the play she said “Is it really like this” – with a tears in my eyes I could only nod.

Superb acting from Amanda Abbington & Laurie Kynaston  My heart skipped a beat it was so powerful.

If you really want to understand the depths of depression and the effects that it has on the immediate family I urge you to buy tickets to see this fantastic play. You will come out speechless but have learned so much.

I really hope that it transfers to the West End but for now it’s playing at The Kiln Theatre – Kilburn until 6 April 2019IMG_8130

Florian Zeller  I would love to meet you

 

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