André has lost his beloved watch again. His daughter and her husband are behaving very oddly. There is an unseen presence in his home playing cruel tricks on him. And as he fights his demons and drowns in his murky memories, he is beginning to question his own sanity and identity…
The Father is a poignant and devastating exploration of a 70-year-old man’s deteriorating mind as he sinks under the frightening weight of dementia, and loses his grip on the sanctuary of his home and security of his loved ones. As his mind unravels and his reality continues to warp, we begin to perceive his morphing, crumbling world the way he does, with family members becoming strangers, and strangers turning out to be something even more sinister.
Pangdemonium hopes that this compelling production will inspire people to reach out to those in our community with dementia, as well as their caregivers who are suffering in silence and fear.
Nominated for Best Play at the Olivier and Tony Awards, The Father is part family drama, part thriller, part mind-bending puzzle. A tale told with gripping suspense, brutal honesty, and profound compassion, it asks the urgent question: When you’re losing everything you know and love, who will care?
“A highly competent staging of Marber's play and one that makes for a very enjoyable evening to boot. There is no denying that Pangdemonium's production of Closer is excellent.This Father is hard to forget...Tracie Pang’s truly heartrending adaptation...Lim is stellar as the mercurial Andre...He is evenly matched by Tan as his long-suffering daughter...The success of the play lies in how it employs theatrical devices to make the confusing, non-linear world of a dementia sufferer relatable to a person of sound mind…THE FATHER is terrifying.
It shows how horribly easy it is to lose someone to dementia or to slip into it yourself. It is a memento mori to memory - to never take for granted your mind while it remains with you.”
“The Father by Pangdemonium is a slow but superb burn - wrapping you completely into that mass of contradictions that is dementia.
Elegantly performed and sensitively directed, it reminds us of the very real pain of being a victim of one’s mind.”
“Subjects the viewer to a visceral and immediate first-person experience of symptoms alluding to dementia...the lighthearted effervescence of Lim Kay Siu’s André drives the play and makes the protagonist memorable and lovable...Pangdemonium has carved out a niche for itself, staging thoughtful and intense dramas that shine a light on marginalised or overlooked communities.
With The Father Pangdemonium continues to stay committed to this tradition - a heartrending story, in a “show, not tell” style, about alienation, loss and the joy and strain of family love.”
“Deceptively simple but devastatingly executed...Lim Kay Siu is perfectly cast - his performance transforms Andre into a completely sympathetic character...also anchored by Tan Kheng Hua, who brings a sharp emotional edge as Andre’s daughter...What makes The Father so terrifying is that everything is set up to make even the audience feel as if they’re caught up in Andre’s dementia, with swift set changes that leave audiences paranoid and questioning which version of Eucien Chia’s claustrophobic set is the real one.
Each blackout becomes a memory hole in Andre’s mind, and James Tan’s lighting design makes us feel as if we’ve been momentarily dazed, while Jing Ng’s disturbing electronic music breaks the naturalism, almost sinister in the way it creeps into every scene. In being able to bend audience perceptions, The Father is a prime example of how theatre has the power to recreate and represent some of the most difficult aspects of the human psyche.”
“What is impressive is the truthfulness in portraying the infuriating affliction of dementia from the point of view of a sufferer. The performers poured their heart into sincerely portraying the raw emotions of dementia sufferers and their caregivers, bringing to life anguish, turmoil, fear, and the occasional mirth that we feel, just as much as the characters do.
The delightfully understated and tender depiction in THE FATHER is one that toys with us through our multi-sensory faculties. Watch out for the subtle but incredibly effective use of the stage to metaphorise Andre’s decaying, confused state of mind.”
Translated by Christopher Hampton
Lim Kay Siu
Tan Kheng Hua
2 - 18 Mar 2018
“Thanks for the outstanding performance. Gave me an insight into the intricacies of the world of a dementia patient. The play is so well woven in how it puts together the tension between someone suffering from dementia and his loved ones. The fears, insecurities, love as well as how the use of humour can both be beautifully light-hearted and yet painful when we put ourselves in their shoes forces the audience to think on a deeper level.
Truly provocative and a masterpiece! Bravo! It made me wish I had the chance to know more about dementia earlier when I was in my teens and living with my Grandpa who had dementia. I would had been more understanding had I known the world he was struggling in.”
“OMG - that was an amazing night of theatre - I can't tell you how much I enjoyed the evening - you really kept me on my toes - i just thought it was brilliant at every level. I am so pleased I got to see the show. To make an audience experience what it might be like to have dementia, i just thought was brilliant.
I was thinking about the show all night - in fact am still. Congrats and thanks to everyone - what a night!”
“Absolutely riveting! Packs an emotional punch deep in the gut! Easily one of the best plays I've ever seen. Congratulations, you and your troupe have outdone yourselves!”
“Thank you Pangdemonium for staging THE FATHER, and allowing me to understand on a very intimate level what my loved one experienced during her final moments. This dementia-focused play innovates, entertains, psycho educates, and may cause some heart breaks.
I'm purposely not saying more cos I don't wanna spoil anything for anyone. This is experiential theatre on a whole new level! The first must-watch production of 2018!”
“A big thank you to Pangdemonium, the actors and the crew for putting up such a riveting and heartfelt show. Thank you for using your art to tell important and timely stories.
It reminds us why Theatre and art is important and the stories it shares.”
“I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed "The Father". It helped me understand better how dementia affects not only the person, but the family around him. I happen to be studying occupational therapy, and could be working with clients with dementia in the future. The play has really inspired me to be more empathetic towards my future clients, and it motivated me to work harder and do my best in my studies so that I can be a pillar of support a family needs in these vulnerable and tough times.
I would like to thank the cast and the crew for the splendid production, and for giving me the much needed boost in my occupational pursuits! Thank you again!”
“To date this is my favourite Pangdemonium production. Hands down. I was floored. This has touched me more than words can say. A thought provoking, insightful and raw look into the difficult, painful and confusing journey of Alzheimer’s. This was beautifully and tastefully executed on all levels.
Riveting performances, stunning set, lighting and sound. Bravo to the cast, crew and insanely talented director Tracie Pang. Lots of love to these amazing humans!”
“Riveting from the get go. This was an ensemble piece with stellar performances by all, deft direction, great sound and lighting designs, and a solid production team working their magic backstage. All of which added to the overall effect of making you feel the same sense of bewilderment that someone with dementia goes through in their daily lives. Frightening and heart wrenching.This play hits you in the guts but it also had so many humourous moments.
As I watch people around me age, myself included, nothing is more frightening than wondering what if I have dementia one day and what it will mean for my family and loved ones? My teenage son who doesn’t have much to say these days told his Dad in the car without prompting that it was a very good play, so that says a lot and I certainly hope it has given him some food for thought!”
“Thoroughly enjoyed The Father. Very strong cast, impressive seamless stage production, well researched subject. It is courageous and far sighted of Pangdemonium to tackle such an emotional, sensitive subject, very close to home for many people.
Really admire and applaud you for this. Thanks for a wonderful evening.”
“As someone who's seen the effects of Alzheimer's first hand, I loved it. Every bit of it. My only regret is I didn't get to watch it five years ago and understand the confusion that went on in my mother's mind a little better.
Thank you! Everything was on point and amazing, I'll be coming to all your plays from now on.”