The Son, Duke of York's Theatre - ★★★★☆ - Until November 2, 2019


This is another charged work from Florian Zeller. This time the multi-talented writer deals with adolescent mental illness and the challenges that this condition offers his well-meaning parents. The play beautifully captures the sense of helplessness the adults have in the face of the transformation of their son from a happy child to a troubled teenager. The piece artfully traces their emotions as they run a gamut from anger and guilt to hope and denial. Amanda Abbington and John Light do stellar jobs as the mother and father, embodying their concern and bewilderment when confronted by their son's behaviour and mood swings. Is this just adolescent angst and the kind of parent issues that the father himself had, or is it something darker? As they grapple with their questions and self-doubt, the son acts out his condition, vacillating between trying to meet their expectations and succumbing to the darkness within. Laurie Kynaston does a fine job in capturing both the hope and sense of hopelessness of Nicolas. Amaka Okafor strikes just the right note as the frustrated, but trying-to-be-fair, stepmother. A strong cast brings us face to face with some tough issues and gives us real insight into how love cannot cure all. This is an emotionally wrenching night in the theatre.

Reviewed by J.C.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆★ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until November 2, 2019
Mon - Sat: 7:30 pm, Wed & Sat: 3 pm
Nearest station: Leicester Square
https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/the-son/duke-of-yorks-theatre/

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