Everything about The Son at the Duke of York’s Theatre
After performances at the Kiln Theatre earlier this year, The Son will receive its West End premiere at the Duke of York’s Theatre later this year. With topics including adolescence, family relationships and a sense of belonging discussed, find out more about the production here, including the synopsis, cast and what you can expect from the show.
All you need to know about The Son
What’s the show based on?
The Son is the final play as part of a trilogy by Florian Zeller, following The Father and The Mother. All written in the 2010’s, the first play to receive its West End premiere was The Father in 2016. Also performed at the Duke of York’s Theatre, The Father (originally written in French and titled Mon Pere) told of an octogenarian as he began to lose his short and long term memory. The Father was nominated for best new play at the 2015 Olivier Awards.
Although written before The Father, The Mother was the second play in the trilogy to be performed in London, staged at the Tricycle Theatre in 2017. In a similar vein to its predecessor, the production told the fictional story of Anne, a woman with clinical depression and suffering a mid-life crisis, adrift from those around her.
Also concerned with family relationships, The Son examines what it means to be the child of divorcing parents, separated from society and feeling isolated. The UK premiere of The Son was staged at the Kiln Theatre in 2019, however plays by Florian Zeller have been performed in over 30 countries.
Who is Florian Zeller?
Born in 1979, Florian Zeller is a Parisian novelist and playwright, whose previous works include The Height of the Storm, The Truth and The Lie. Since winning the Prix Interallié for his novel La Fascination du Pire (translated into Fascination of Evil), Zeller has established himself as a leading writer, earning Molière Awards and a Tony Award nomination.
What’s the synopsis?
Two years prior to the play’s setting, Nicolas was a carefree, content child. Now, he faces difficulty in his daily life after his parents’ divorce, immediately losing a sense of daily stability and a sense of belonging. Skipping classes and lying to friends and family, he feels torn between moving in with his father or living with his mother. With evident signs of hopelessness to those closest to him, will Nicolas be able to hide his emotions for the foreseeable future?
Who will star in The Son?
Complete casting for The Son at the Duke of York’s Theatre is to be announced, however some of the Kiln Theatre cast will reprise their roles in the production.
Laurie Kynaston will reprise his role as Nicolas, the child at the centre of the play. West End credits include The Ferryman at the Gielgud Theatre, but he has also starred in Cradle to Grave for the BBC.
Amanda Abbington will reprise her role as Anne, Nicolas’ mother. Her theatre credits include Abigail’s Party, The God of Carnage and God Bless this Child, with television credits including Sherlock and Mr Selfridge.
John Light and Amaka Okafor will also reprise their performances from the off-West End premiere.
What did critics say about the Kiln Theatre production?
“The Frenchman Florian Zeller has been called the most exciting playwright of our times, and this take-your-breath-away effort will reinforce that view. This play, though, translated by Christopher Hampton, as the others were, may be the most powerful of all.”
“The Son is a bleak, characteristically clear-sighted look at the pain and turbulence of mental health disorders.”
“Michael Longhurst’s immaculate production and Lizzie Clachan’s design underline the tension between bourgeois order and emotional chaos, and the acting throughout is excellent.”
Where can I see it in London’s West End and how do I get there?
The Son is playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre, located on St Martin’s Lane (WC2N 4BG). The closest train station is Charing Cross, which is a 2-minute walk away. Piccadilly and Northern Line underground services are available from Leicester Square tube station, just a short walk away.
How long is it on for?
The Son will play at the Duke of York’s Theatre from 24th August to 2nd November.