Everything about The Son at the Duke of York’s Theatre

By | Posted on 14-May-2019

Everything about The Son at the Duke of York’s Theatre

The Son plays its final performance at the Duke of York’s Theatre on 2nd November 2019. Why not check out the top 10 West End plays you need to read?

After performances at the Kiln Theatre earlier this year, The Son received its West End premiere at the Duke of York’s Theatre. 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?

The Son

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?

Laurie Kynaston reprised 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 reprised 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.”
Ann Treneman
The Times

“The Son is a bleak, characteristically clear-sighted look at the pain and turbulence of mental health disorders.”
Henry Hitchings
Evening Standard

“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.”
Michael Billington
The Guardian