The Son by Florian Zeller

Christopher Hampton’s translation of Florian Zeller’s The Son is a masterful.   It is so skilled.  The translation from the formal and informal tenses of French and from the flow of  French speech  into a rhythm in English which still maintains the structure is good. The director Michael Longhurst uses the speech rhythms to direct the play like movements from a symphony with surges and rests and always underneath – a sense of tension.  The composer and sound designer Isobel Waller-Bridge’s work was part of the success of the production.  The whole play flows from one conversation into another – with the son at the centre of the action.   The voices are so indicative of the characters that you feel you might know them.   The casting is faultless, and a lot of credit must go to Amy Bell and her assistant Atri Banerjee for this.  Cudjoe Asare, Amanda Abbington, Amaka Okafor, Martin Turner are all good, but the outstanding performances are from Laurie Kynaston who plays the son and John Light who plays the father.   Many men and women in the audience including me cried (a lot).  The Son is the final play in Florian Zeller’s trilogy after The Mother and The Father.  If plays are written to help us understand ourselves and the times we live in, then Florian Zeller is the playwright. 

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