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‘Fatherland’ review

  • Theatre, Drama
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A messy, moving look at father-son relationships

Grown men will cry - and boys will thank fuck they didn't grow up in the '70s, on watching this fractured but epiphanic crucible of a play by Simon Stephens, Karl Hyde and Scott Graham.

They're a motley and impressive creative trio. Stephen's a fine modern playwright; Hyde the Underworld a musician who soundtracked ‘Trainspotting’ along with most of his generation's drug experiences; Graham a leader of physical theatre troupe Frantic Assembly. For this show they essentially did a pre-Brexit roadtrip to the towns they escaped from as teenagers, interviewed lots of blokes about their dads, and made a verbatim play out of it.

The result is exactly what you'd expect: heart racing music; heartrending human interest stories - and a slightly irritating chaser of post-alcoholic middle class southern guilt. But there are unforgettable moments: such as when the men (all men! so many men!) invade the stage and the auditorium waving huge flags, chanting complex choral stuff about their memories of their absent dads, like a Freudian football nightmare. Go! this is stunning, messy and authentic.

Written by
Caroline McGinn


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