The Son
Kiln Theatre, London
Wednesday 20th February - Saturday 6th April 2019

Set in Paris during what we believe to be the present day, The Son is Florian Zeller's final part in his epic trilogy which has spawned The Father and The Mother, the former of which I was lucky enough to watch on stage - with all three productions linked together by one family looking at the different perspectives during different timelines. Not having seen The Mother it is unfair to judge the trilogy as a whole, but as a standalone piece, The Son is a terribly gripping and at times visual masterpiece with much attention given to detail.

Whilst The Father centred around dementia with an older Pierre, who in this production is portrayed by John Light, and The Mother focusing on Depression, Amanda Abbington depicting the role of Anna in this installment, Laurie Kynaston conjures up the titular role of Nicholas, who in some aspects has been the catalyst for the former productions in the saga, in this masterpiece which sensitively focuses around mental health and suicide, something which Zeller has pieced together in a way that keeps the difficult topic tasteful, rather than throwing the idea of suicide under the bus.

Kynaston is astonishing as Nicholas, a boy who has issues with his school life which has been torn apart following the seperation of his parents, with his father now with Sophia (Amaka Okafor), a woman who he was first seeing whilst still married, something Nicholas bluntly probes during a rare moment between Sophia and himself. Lizzie Clachan's design really paves way with a white canvas which almost feels childlike, much like the marketing envisages, with white walls in which what looks to represent black marker pen scribbles across with Nicholas's thoughts and rage.

Though not the typical edge-on-seat drama, The Son masterfully understands how to pace itself, with a devastating ending that reached gasps from the audience, but in a way that as not everyone is seeing the same amount of action due to the angles from the stage, gives others a chance to see events as they unfold. Michael Longhurst in this instance has given the direction of this piece a naturalistic stance with believable characters that we as the audience find caring for.

Overall, Florian Zeller's final installment in an epic and standout trilogy completes with the most loose production with conflicting emotions, but deals with the sensitive subject matters beautiful!


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