Ass-kicking theatre company Pangdemonium! is back this February to start their 10th anniversary on the scene with Florian Zeller’s The Son (translated by Christopher Hampton). Following on from their sold-out production of Zeller’s The Father in 2018, The Son shifts the focus from mental illness in the aged to mental illness in the young, much like how they started with Late Company in 2019, which dealt with a teenage suicide.
In The Son, we follow Nicolas (Zachary Pang), a seemingly average, angsty 16-year-old – sullen, silent, and secretive. But it seems like only yesterday that he was a happy, lively boy with a bright future, and a smile that would light up the room. As the play progresses, we shuttle back and forth between his divorced parents, Pierre and Anne, and Nicholas’ behaviour becomes increasingly erratic.
Pierre’s new partner Sofia observes that Nicolas is “ultra-weird”; Anne confesses that he “frightens her”; and Pierre defends him as “just being a teenager”. All Nicolas can offer as an explanation is that “life is weighing him down”. Nicholas’ mental and emotional state begins to spiral into a black hole, everyone starts to feel its effects. Left with no choice, Nicholas’ parents begin to consider desperate measures, which just may or may not save the entire family…or tear them all apart.
Directed by Tracie Pang, and starring Adrian Pang, Nazray, Serene Chen, Sharda Harrison, Shona Benson and Zachary Pang, watch as Pangdemonium! brings to the stage this timely exploration of mental health issues among youth, as one family struggles to save a lost loved one before it’s too late.
The Son plays from 20th February to 7th March 2020 at the Drama Centre Theatre. Tickets available from SISTIC