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The Father programme

Director's Note

It's always a challenge when approaching a play that resonates so personally. Both of my grandparents had dementia and so many aspects of this play are things that I and my family have experienced. Florian Zeller the writer and Christopher Hampton the translator, have captured, with unflinching reality, the difficulty of this illness and how unsettling it is, not only for those who have it, but for everyone around them also. 

That being said, I have enjoyed every minute of working on this production. It is such a moving story but it isn't one, sadly, that many people will find unusual. The cast have all been incredibly brave with the script and the emotions it inevitably unveils. So many people have relatives or friends that have an experience of dementia and so it was easy for everyone to access material to draw from. 

I not only want to thank the cast and the fantastic production team, but also the team from Dementia Oxford and the Young Onset Dementia Advisors who have given us so much assistance throughout rehearsals and the show. Special thanks also goes out to Jude Thorp who gave us such a unique insight and has really helped us craft the show. 

I hope you enjoy the production as much as we have enjoyed putting it on. If you have any concerns about yourself, a friend or a relative showing symptoms or signs of mental deterioration, do seek advice from your GP as there is a lot of support available across the county. 

Ashley Harvey


Dementia is often an illness that can be very isolating, but there are lots of resources out there that offer support. Don't suffer in silence, if you need help, reach out. Click the button below for more info from Dementia Oxfordshire

Dementia resources in Oxfordshire:

Production Team

Director - Ashley Harvey

Designer - Jessica Harvey

Stage Manager - Gavin Wilson

Assistant Stage Manager - Sophie Parker

Lighting and sound design - Costa Cambanakis

Producer - Ed Blagrove

Special thanks to:

Jude Thorp & Becky Hall, Lisa Inglis and the Young Onset Dementia Advisers, Dementia UK, Dean Court Community Centre, Begbroke Village hall, Forget me not dementia network 

Read more about Jude Thorp's story here:

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