Thursday 29th April to Saturday 1st May and Tuesday 4th May to Saturday 8th May 1993
Directed by John O'Hanlon
The Captain, used to discipline and command, faces his deepest uncertainly in his own home. Can he really be sure that the daughter he loves us his own child? As events overtake him, the soldiers' code brings little comfort, and Strinberg's classic drama builds to a terrifying climax.
The Father was written in 1887 and first produced in Berlin in 1890 and portrays the tragedy of a man and a woman struggling for the possession of their child. The story surrounds the conflict of interest between The Captain and his wife, Laura. The Captain (an ex-military hero and a well respected scientist) is arguing with with his wife about how their daughter, Bertha, should be raised. The Captain wants her to be raised as an atheist in the city, whereas Laura wants her daughter to be an artist. Unfortunately, Swedish law at the time prevents Laura's wishes about her daughter's future to be followed, so in order to get her wish, Laura falsely accuses the Captain of mental instability.
To try to induce the appearance of insanity in her husband, she introduces the idea that Bertha may not even be his daughter - implying that she had been unfaithful. She also intercepts his mail, and lies to the influential Doctor, in efforts to convince him of the Captain's insanity. The Captain starts to believe that Bertha is not his child, and the play plunges towards its tragic conclusion.
This play was staged at Havant Arts Centre, East Street Havant - Bench Theatre's home since 1977.
|The Captain||Peter Corrigan|
|Nurse||Rita de Bunsen|
|Stage Manager||Sharon Taylor|
|Lighting Design||Jacquie Penrose|
|Lighting Operation||Andrew Caple|
|Costume||Rita de Bunsen|
|Set Design||David Penrose |
|Poster Design||Peter Woodward|
|Front of House||Sally Hartley|
Strindberg wrote 'The Father' in two and a half weeks in 1887, a year before 'Miss Julie'. Both plays caused storms of protest from publishers, theatres and public. Strindberg has been variously described as the first realist in modern drama, and the founder of expressionist theatre. He was both at different stages of his turbulent life. Strindberg explored a wide variety of artistic expression, and in his native country (Sweden) he is known for his poetry, novels and paintings. Later in life he concentrated on chemical experiments and became obsessively determined to win recognition as a scientist; but his experiments with alchemy pushed him to a severe mental crisis, verging on insanity. 'The Father' is perhaps Strindberg's most bitter and autobiographical play. It details his own marriage breakdown and imagined jealousies about his wife. They divorced in 1892.