FLORIAN Zeller’s award-winning play The Father takes us in to the confused world of an elderly man with dementia.

It has been called “the most honest portrayal of dementia and the efforts of a daughter to balance her love for her father and the need to care for him, with the demands of her own life and relationships”.

During the course of the play, we see things through the confused eyes of Andre, the lead character, trying to make sense of a world that is becoming increasingly alien to him.

The play constantly makes you question the nature of reality.

Through many time shifts and encounters with characters he does not recognise who may be friends or foes, life becomes very complicated and frustrating for Andre who, because his furniture seems to be “disappearing”, is not even sure whether he is in his own flat.

There are lighter moments, when we see glimpses of the man he once was - flirting with his carers, arguing over a “lost” watch, convincing people he was once a tap dancer - but the play does not stint on his desperate heart-wrenching decline and the final poignant scene in the nursing home, nor the difficulties experienced by Andre’s emotionally exhausted daughter who has reached the limits of her patience.

The play is an absorbing and touching exploration of dementia and of the loss of identity that makes audiences consider how much one can hold on to oneself when mind and memory abandon them.

Performed by Newport Playgoers Society October 11 – 14, 2023

Tickets available from www.dolmantheatre.co.uk