Created by Frantic Assembly's Scott Graham, Karl Hyde from Underworld and playwright Simon Stephens, Fatherland confronts contemporary fatherhood in all its complexities and contradictions. Daring in its compounding of words, music and movement, it is a vivid, urgent and deeply personal portrait of 21st-century England at the crossroads of past, present and future. Inspired by conversations with fathers and sons from the writers' home towns in the heart of the country, the play explores identity, nationality, masculinity and what it means to belong in a world weighed down by the expectations of others. Tender and tough, honest and true, Fatherland is a vital and necessary show about what we were, who we are and what we'd like to become.
This text was published to coincide with Frantic Assemby's production at The Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester on 1 July 2017, as part of the Manchester International Festival.
About the Author
Simon Stephens began his theatrical career in the literary department of the Royal Court Theatre, where he ran its Young Writers' Programme. His plays for theatre include Bluebird (Royal Court Theatre, London, 1998, directed by Gordon Anderson); Herons (Royal Court Theatre, 2001); Port (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, 2002); One Minute (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, 2003 and Bush Theatre, London, 2004); Christmas (Bush Theatre, 2004); Country Music (Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, 2004); On the Shore of the Wide World (Royal Exchange Theatre and National Theatre, London, 2005); Motortown (Royal Court Theatre Downstairs, 2006); Pornography (Deutsches Schauspielhaus, Hanover, 2007; Edinburgh Festival/Birmingham Rep, 2008 and Tricycle Theatre, London, 2009); Harper Regan (National Theatre, 2008); Sea Wall (Bush Theatre, 2008/Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, 2009); Heaven (Traverse Theatre, 2009); Punk Rock (Lyric Hammersmith, London, and Royal Exchange Theatre, 2009); The Trial of Ubu (Essen Schauspielhaus/Toneelgroep Amsterdam, 2010); A Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky (co-written with David Eldridge and Robert Holman; Lyric Hammersmith, London, 2010); Marine Parade (co-written with Mark Eitzel; Brighton International Festival, 2010); T5 (Traverse Theatre, 2010); Wastwater (Royal Court Theatre Downstairs, 2011); Morning (Lyric Hammersmith, 2012); an adaptation of A Doll's House (Young Vic, 2012); an adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (National Theatre, 2012); Blindsided (Royal Exchange, 2014); and Birdland (Royal Court, 2014). His radio plays include Five Letters Home to Elizabeth (BBC Radio 4, 2001) and Digging (BBC Radio 4, 2003). His screenwriting includes an adaptation of Motortown for Film4 (2009); the two-part serial Dive (with Dominic Savage) for Granada/BBC (2009); and a short film adaptation of Pornography for Channel 4's 'Coming Up' series (2009). Awards include the Pearson Award for Best New Play, 2001, for Port; Olivier Award for Best New Play for On the Shore of the Wide World, 2005; and for Motortown German critics in Theater Heute's annual poll voted him Best Foreign Playwright, 2007. His adaptation of Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Play.