This warm and gripping story of fear and forgiveness is the first major play in twenty years from Charlotte Keatley, the award-winning author of My Mother Said I Never Should. This beautifully immersive and yet also elusive new play is a subtle and compassionate piece, with real humanity of characterisation and a firmly-evoked sense of place.
A young woman on the eve of her 30th birthday returns to her parents' home in the sweeping hills of the Peak District. But the house is full of memories, and down by the reservoir she hears a voice from a drowned village. In time, every secret must come to the surface.
Keatley's atmospheric writing creates a palimpsest of the past which cleverly yet evocatively leaks into the present. She presents a clear continuity of wrongs repeating themselves and the damage they wreak lasting across centuries and generations. An impressively accomplished piece, Our Father's sustained atmosphere and strong characterisation connects with Keatley's trademark dreamlike sequences which defy a linear chronological structure. Reflecting how the past continually interrupts the present, the time device is fundamental to the play's meaning as well as its psychological themes of guilt, evasions, resentments and eventual revelation of secrets.
Charlotte Keatley was born in London on 5 January 1960. Her first play, My Mother Said I Never Should, which she wrote in 1985, was first performed at the Contact Theatre, Manchester, in 1987, and won both the Royal Court/George Devine Award and the Manchester Evening News Theatre Award for Best New Play. The play was revised for a successful run at the Royal Court Theatre in 1989, and in 1990 she was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Most Promising Newcomer Award. She was Judith E. Wilson Fellow in English at Cambridge University in 1989 and Writer in Residence for the New York Stage and Film Company in 1991. Later that year she co-directed the first production of Heathcote Williams' play Autogeddon at the Edinburgh Festival, where it was awarded an Edinburgh Festival Fringe First.