Living Quarters reconstructs a day in the life of the Butler family in the village of Ballybeg. Frank Butler, who has served all his life in the Irish army, returns from United Nations service, a hero, to learn of his young wife’s affair with his son from a previous marriage.
In a darkly humorous and deeply poignant translation by Christopher Hampton, ‘The Father’ is a tragicomic and realistic family story, an unsentimental, emotionally intense look at the world through the eyes of a man experiencing dementia, a dramatic illustration of the physical losses which occur along with the mental ones. The play makes us see things as if through the confused eyes of Andre, as he struggles to make sense of a progressively befuddling world. It is an astonishingly unguarded play about the cruelties of love and the limits of patience, and the way child-parent relationships become inverted as old age creeps up and mugs us.