The Freudian drama, THE MOTHER is Florian Zeller’s companion piece to THE FATHER, the French dramatists’ brilliant tale of an old man with Alzheimer’s, which transferred from Kilburn’s Tricycle Theatre to the West End last year, and is due to return this month.
The follow-up Royal Theatre Bath production is on transfer to the Tricycle from its Ustinov Studio and looks likely to also make it to the West End after it completes it’s sell-out run at the North London venue in early March. Both plays have been translated into English by Christopher Hampton.
THE MOTHER is a haunting portrait of Anne, (Gina McKee) a mother losing her grip. Her sense of reality is under attack as her fear of slipping into the void once she’s no longer needed takes hold. The children have left the nest and her 25 year-old marriage to Peter, (Richard Clothier) is crumbling as he spends all his time at work and probably sleeping with his secretary. Her son Nicholas (William Postlethwaite) and his racy girlfriend Elodie (Frances McNamee) complete the quartet. Is his appearance part of a regular apparition or does he actually visit? “This time, he’s here,” Anne cries.
The ArtsDesk critic Marianka Swain described Gina’s portrayal of a mother’s primal grief as, “riveting…. as she ricochets between vicious barbs and defeated slumps, giddy elation and despairing vulnerability”.
I managed to catch-up with Richard and William before a Saturday matinee in my attempt to get this sketch signed by all four cast members. They very kindly said they would get it done for me and so they did.