[CANCELLED] Le Père: Acclaimed Theatrical Gem Runs Again
Why We Recommend it
A raw, intense gem of a play that brings us into the mind of an Alzheimer’s patient, where knowledge of their surroundings, family, and even themselves slips through their trembling fingertips, thrusting us into the confusion and helplessness patients endure.
Le Père, by the popular French playwright Florian Zeller, explores the pain and pressure that comes with Alzheimer’s. Winner of the 2014 Molière Award for best play, the film version premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Translated into Cantonese by Sonia Au, the play was premiered in Hong Kong in 2017, and re-run in 2019. Performed by the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre, it enjoyed immense popularity from the public, selling out for 30 performances. This year, Director Laureate Fredric Mao reprises the title role in the second re-run.
As her elderly father gradually loses his ability to live independently, Anne moves him in to live with her and her boyfriend, tending to his daily necessities. Her father, suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, vacillates between a humorous disposition and states of confusion. Reality gradually dissolves in his mind, challenging their father-daughter relationship. Shouldering filial love and her responsibility to family, Anne is under tremendous pressure to make the appropriate decision.
The story is told from the patient’s perspective, taking the audience into their minds, helping us understand their view of the world and difficulties. As the number of adults diagnosed with Alzheimer’s increases—and will probably continue to increase—in Hong Kong, Le Père is a timely reminder to view the matter with care and empathy.
The play is presented in Cantonese with Chinese and English surtitles. It runs for approximately one hour and 30 minutes, without intermission.