I hadn’t heard of Florian Zeller before Tuesday night. Mr. Zeller is 33 years old and lives in Paris. This evening I “Googled” him and found out that he is a rising star who is considered one of the hottest literary talents in France, and has been so for a while. (The Independent) His wife is an ex-model, actress and sculptor. His first novel was published when he was 22. Since then he has written 4 novels and 7 plays.
Barbara and I decided that it would be fun to go to the theater while I was in Paris with her. She picked Le Père by chance, and because the reviews were good. She was able to get tickets for Tuesday night. This young man is wise beyond his years. The subject matter of Le Père (The Father) is difficult and has to be treated delicately. The author is only 33.
The aging father is loosing his memory. The audience sees what he sees and feels what he feels. His daughter is his daughter and then she is someone else. She says things and later she says that she never said those things. He doesn’t need help; he is fine on his own. But he isn’t.
We all know someone who has Alzheimer’s and think to ourselves that this would be terrible to experience. But on the stage, when the daughter isn’t the daughter and there is a strange man in the living room who is the daughter’s ex-husband or is he a boy friend or… and you see it, it is very disturbing. By the end of the play I was in tears. He is only 33.
Yes, this is a good play. I hope you will be able to see it.