a new version by LAURIE SLADE

“It is a play that demands complete attention”
New York Times

An uneasy stand-off exists between the Captain and his wife Laura. But a disagreement over their daughter Bertha, triggers an all-out war. Laura will stop at nothing to gain control of her daughter’s future. When she suggests to the Captain that he may not actually be the girl’s father, she sets a chain of events in motion that cannot be stopped.

In a thrilling new production, this bold re-working of Strindberg’s masterpiece comes to Trafalgar Studio 2 for a strictly limited run. Starring Alex Ferns (EastEnders, Joyeux Noel, Making Waves) and June Watson, (winner of the 2014 Clarence Derwent Award) with direction from rising star Abbey Wright, and text from Laurie Slade.

It is a battle of the minds, but is it a battle either can win?

Laurie Slade’s critically acclaimed version of Strindberg’s text was first presented by The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry in 2012 and then broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 2013. A visceral and imaginative new interpretation, The Father returns to London’s West End stage after a fifty-year absence.

The Father had its premiere in Copenhagen in 1887, and was a triumph in Paris in 1894, hailed as the first indisputable victory there for Scandinavian literature! It marked a turning point in the evolution of western drama. Strindberg was ahead of his time, anticipating modern trends in theatre. He dispensed with naturalistic detail and conventional backstories, insisting that the essence of a play lies in the intensity of the action onstage and the psychological truth and interaction of the characters.

Previous notable productions of the play starred Michael Redgrave, Trevor Howard, Grace Kelly and most recently Frank Langella on Broadway – though even that was 20 years ago.

A hundred years after Strindberg’s death, The Father is still traumatically alive!


The Captain – Alex Ferns
Laura – Emily Dobbs
Bertha – Millie Thew
The Nurse – June Watson
Doctor Östermark – Barnaby Sax
The Pastor – Robert Wilfort
Nöjd – Thomas Coombes


Director – Abbey Wright
Assistant Director – Billy Coughlin
Designer – James Turner
Costume Designer – Holly Henshaw
Lighting Designer – Gary Bowman
Composer – Simon Slater
Sound Designer – Angus MacRae
Casting Director – Annie Rowe


★★★★ The Times
★★★★ The Stage
★★★★ Official London Theatre
★★★★ Official Theatre
★★★★★ London Theatre Guide

‘Triumphant revival’ – The Times
‘An electric clash of the titans’ – The Stage
‘All hail Laurie Slade’s modern adaptation’ – Official Theatre
‘Abbey Wright’s smart, swift and vigorous production’ – Time Out
‘Strindberg’s battle of the sexes is given an equal platform in this muscular and intuitive adaptation.’ – The Stage
‘Alex Ferns is a triumph, giving an emotionally raw, physically exhausting performance as the Captain.’ – Official London Theatre
‘Biting and brilliant’ – Sunday Mirror
‘Alex Ferns gives a belting – in all senses – performance’ – What’s On Stage
‘This strong production demonstrates the play’s undiminished passion and power.’ – Theatre World
‘Ferns’ performance is powerful… twisted and ultimately tragic.’ – A Younger Theatre
‘Constantly thrilling and high tempo.’ – After Nyne
‘June Watson delivers a slow-burning performance of quiet strength’ – Eye / Saw Theatre