He's not like he was before. Believe me. I don't know what's happened, but something has. He's changed. He . . . And I'm wondering if . . . To be absolutely honest with you . . . I'm even wondering if . . .
Nicolas, just two years ago a smiling boy, is going through a difficult phase after his parents' divorce. He's listless, skipping classes, lying. He believes moving in with his father and his new family may help. And a different school, a fresh start. When he doesn't feel comfortable there, when he senses he isn't wanted, he decides that going back to his mother's may be the answer. But at some point, options are going to dry up. And then what?
I'm telling you. I don't understand what's happening to me.
Florian Zeller's The Son forms the final part in a trilogy with The Mother and The Father, all of which are translated by Christopher Hampton. The Son premieres at the Kiln Theatre, London, in February 2019.
Florian Zeller is a French novelist and playwright. He won the prestigious Prix Interalli in 2004 for his third novel, Fascination of Evil. His plays include L'Autre, Le Mange, Si tu mourais, nominated for a Globe de Cristal, Elle t'attend and La Vrit. La Mre (The Mother, Molire Award for Best Play in 2011) and Le Pre (The Father, Molire Award for Best Play in 2014, starring Robert Hirsch and Isabelle Gelinas (Molire Awards for Best Actor and Actress, Prix du Brigadier in 2015). Une Heure de tranquillit (A Bit of Peace and Quiet), opened with Fabrice Luchini, and has since been adapted for the screen, directed by Patrice Leconte. Le Mensonge (The Lie) was staged in 2015 starring Pierre Arditi and Evelyne Bouix and L'Envers du dcor opened in January 2016 at the Thtre de Paris starring Daniel Auteuil.
Zeller's exceptional (and prolific) theatrical talent . . . To my mind, The Son is every bit the equal of The Father and, eschewing the riddling quality found in earlier works, in some ways it even eclipses it; the surgical precision of the writing achieves a devastating visceral impact.
Now Zeller turns his attention to adolescent depression and the result, while displaying his usual technical skill, reminds us that his greatest gift is for generating emotion. I'd defy anyone not to be moved by this study of the disruptive dynamics of family life . . .
the work is ingeniously structured: there is a surprise ending that, far from being tricksy, reinforces the play's direct access to the heart.
A bleak, characteristically clear-sighted look at the pain and turbulence of mental health disorders. . . has a harrowing directness.
Florian Zeller has been called the most exciting playwright of our times, and this take-your-breath-away effort will reinforce that view. This final part of his family trilogy may be the most powerful of all. Every parent, and every son (and daughter), will watch this with their heart in their mouth
Tense and thrilling