Dad reck­on­ing

A new play, Father­land, con­tem­plates the pa­ter­nal pat­terns of English­men

Esquire (UK) - - Culture -

For­get all the clas­sic father-son ac­tiv­i­ties: tepid pies and don’t-tell-your-mother swear­ing at the foot­ball match, fish­ing for shop­ping trol­leys in the lo­cal canal, tin­ker­ing with the fan belt (is that the fan belt?) in the garage; a new piece of work from play­wright Si­mon Stephens (The Curious In­ci­dent of the Dog in the Night-Time), Fran­tic As­sem­bly’s Scott Gra­ham and Un­der­world’s Karl Hyde pro­vides a fresh arena for pa­ter­nal-fil­ial feel­ing sup­pres­sion: the theatre!

Father­land, which pre­mieres this month at the Manch­ester In­ter­na­tional Fes­ti­val and fea­tures a 13-strong cast, is based on con­ver­sa­tions with fa­thers and sons from the cre­ators’ home­towns — Stock­port, Corby and Kid­der­min­ster re­spec­tively — and con­tem­plates what it means to be a pro­gen­i­tor of males in Eng­land then and now. Which should give you both plenty to con­tem­plate and not talk about after­wards.

Royal Ex­change Theatre, Manch­ester, 1–22 July; mif.co.uk

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