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Audition information

THE FATHER

Written by Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton, directed by Mel Richards
Performances 13th to 16th November 2024

Auditions:

Read through Saturday 22nd June 11am to 1pm

Saturday 6th July 10am to 2pm

Saturday 13th July 10am to 2pm

At the Rehearsal Rooms (details below)

Andre is an elderly man living in his flat in Paris, whose reality is slowly disintegrating around him. A proud and independent man, Andre is resistant to the help suggested by his daughter, Anne, despite finding it increasingly difficult to distinguish between reality and imagination. Yet help is also becoming a necessity for Anne; she can’t make daily visits anymore and Andre’s grip on reality is unraveling.

 

As we witness the ebb and flow of his memory, how much of his own identity and past can Andre cling to? And how does Anne cope as she grieves the loss of her father while he still lives and breathes before her?

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Character descriptions

Playing ages are approximate, the overall dynamic between the characters is more important for casting than specific ages. It should be believable that Anne is Andre’s daughter, and Pierre, The Woman and The Man should be of similar age to Anne. Laura should be younger than the others, ideally in her 20s. 

 

ANDRE 60s-80s

 

Andre has dementia, however should not be portrayed as a victim. He is intelligent, charming, flirty, cutting, rude and suspicious. Physically, he should be fragile enough that, when physically provoked, he would be unable to realistically defend himself, however he is still able to get around the apartment, and take care of his daily needs with some basic assistance. 

 

Andre was a successful engineer. He finds his changing world increasingly frustrating and is suspicious of everyone he encounters, including his daughter, Anne. While he tends to put on a front and become challenging, he shows his vulnerability at times when the uncertainty of his future sinks in. He tries to remain in control, however in reality he is clinging to an authority he no longer has the ability to command. 

 

ANNE 30s-50s

 

Anne struggles to balance her own life with the increasing demands of caring for her father. She is a strong, resilient woman who has been mentally and emotionally taken to the edge. Despite all her efforts and sacrifices, her father still refers to her sister as his ‘favourite’ daughter, ‘the one he actually likes’. Anne is building her life with Pierre and has hopes and plans for their future. She loves her father dearly, and tries to find ways of keeping everyone happy, but as Andre’s condition deteriorates she has to start considering more drastic options.

 

PIERRE 30s-50s

 

Pierre is Anne’s partner who’s successful career is now taking him overseas and he wants Anne to go with him. Although supportive and understanding, he hates how rude Andre is to and about Anne and finds his memory lapses incredibly exasperating, even questioning whether Andre sometimes does things deliberately. He is not an unfeeling villain, he is a man who has been pushed to the end of his patience. 

 

THE WOMAN 30s-50s

 

The Woman represents women in Andre’s life when he does not recognise them. She plays Anne, Laura and his carer at the end of the play. 

 

As the carer, The Woman appears somewhat cold towards Andre, having seen and experienced his behaviours many times from other residents. This is just the cycle of her day job, she doesn’t show more compassion towards Andre until his feelings escalate. 

 

THE MAN 30s-50s

 

The Man represents Anne’s partner when Andre doesn’t recognise him, as well as being one of his carers at the end of the play. 

 

As Anne’s partner, we do not know if he is Pierre, Anne’s previous husband, a current lover or someone new - this is never resolved. When on his own with Andre, he is goading and unkind. He physically provokes Andre, leaving the audience to question whether Pierre is abusing him. 

 

LAURA 20s

 

Laura is Andre’s latest carer. Young and keen, she has a habit of speaking to Andre like a child, which irritates him. She is patient and understanding with his behaviour, but also supportive towards Anne after witnessing his nastier streak. She is not intimidated by Andre and confidently leads him through his day despite his protests. She is sweet natured, but strong enough to stand her ground. 

If you have any questions please contact Mel here

The Rehearsal Rooms in High Wych, CM21 0JJ or What3Words mobile.years.safely (map below):

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