A losing mind exhilarates with such winning performances
IS ALZHEIMER’S the new Holocaust? Ricky Gervais famously told Kate Winslet, after she won her Oscar for The Reader: “Didn’t I tell you? Do a Holocaust movie and the awards will come.” Well, the same might now be said of the brain disease that has featured in Oscar-winning movies such as Iris, about Iris Murdoch played by Judi Dench, and Still Alice, starring Julianne Moore.
And now there is also Kenneth Cranham who will also be up for big theatre gongs.
In Florian Zeller’s fiendishly clever play, Cranham plays Alzheimer’s sufferer André, charismatic father to Claire Skinner’s Anne, who is forced to make the transition from daughter to carer.
If that all sounds depressingly offputting, please don’t let it put you off. For while this Paris-set play packs the required emotional punch for a drama about a dissolving mind, it does so with quite exhilarating flare and humour.
The key lies in the way Zeller has constructed his piece, which is set in an apartment that may be Andre’s, or Anne’s, or somewhere else. The scenes — often short and punchy — are offered up like segments of a puzzle. Giving too much away here would solve it prematurely.
But the crucial effect is that they disorientate the audience, allowing
Moving: Kenneth Cranham and Claire Skinner in