Inside a mind losing its grip with “The Father”

By The Economist online

FEW things are more haunting than the prospect of losing one’s mind. The slow but steady erosion of faculties that can come with age strips us of our most valued qualities: memories and stories, our judgement of others and our sense of ourselves. But for all of its drama, dementia is tough to dramatise. How do you capture the creeping distortion of thought? How do you chronicle the attrition of memory? Most depictions of mental decline concentrate on its effect on others—those partners, lovers and children who must grapple with the fact that they are suddenly strangers to someone they love. Rare is the work that manages to empathetically convey the helplessness and disorientation of the condition himself.

This is the wonder of “The Father”, a play that has arrived on Broadway after successful runs in London and Paris, where it earned Florian Zeller, the French playwright, the Molière Award for best play in 2014. In this wise and darkly amusing look at one elderly man’s descent into senselessness, the audience can’t help but identify with his slackening grip on reality. This…

Read more here:: The Economist – Culture