Playwright and director Alexander Zeldin has explored themes such as the cost of austerity, the power of community, the impact of old age and end-of-life care, and now tells the story of a woman’s life from birth to death.
The play is based on the life of the author’s mother: from her birth in Australia in 1943 to growing up working class, seeking an education, and then starting over as a divorced woman in London and establishing a family - Alice’s character lives through the social changes of the late 20th and early 21st century. Her loves become the common thread of both personal and collective emancipation. In brief psychological scenes, the cast sensitively focuses on selected moments in a life spanning almost eight decades.
The Confessions is the latest work by British author Alexander Zeldin, who tells vivid stories of our time to hold a mirror up to reality. He has spent long periods working in countries such as Russia and South Korea, but after working as an assistant director for Peter Brooke and Marie-Helene Estienne, he achieved great success with Beyond Caring, the story of a group of night shift workers in precarious working conditions in a meat factory. It was the first instalment in a trilogy, The Inequalities, which addresses the costs of austerity in Britain and consists of the aforementioned play, but also LOVE, an intimate tale of modern-day family love, and Faith, Hope and Charity, which has been described as “an uncompromising theatrical experience that cuts to the heart of our uncertain times” and offered a generous dose of social realism. In 2022, the author and director released A Death in the Family, set in a French retirement home, in which he portrays the daily life of elderly characters who spend their days waiting for death.
A production by Compagnie A Zeldin / A Zeldin Company
Co-commissioned by The National Theatre of Great Britain, RISING Melbourne, Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg
Co-produced by Wiener Festwochen, Comédie de Genève, Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe, Centro Cultural de Belém, Théâtre de Liège, Festival d’Avignon, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Athens Epidaurus Festival, Piccolo Teatro di Milano - Teatro d'Europa, Adelaide Festival, Centre Dramatique National de Normandie-Rouen
Compagnie A Zeldin is supported by the French Ministry of Culture
Alexander Zeldin is an Associate Artist at the National Theatre of Great Britain, Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe, Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, and Centre Dramatique National de Normandie-Rouen.
This production is supported by Nancy and Michael Timmers, David Schwimmer, Cas Donald, Elisabeth de Kergorlay, Mazdak Rassi and Zanna Roberts Rassi, Andrew and Raquel Segal, Victoria Reese and Greg Kennedy, Studio Indigo Architects & Interior Designers.
By: Alexander Zeldin. Director: Alexander Zeldin. Performing: Joe Bannister, Amelda Brown, Jerry Killick, Lilit Lesser, Brian Lipson, Eryn Jean Norvill, Pamela Rabe, Gabrielle Scawthorn, Yasser Zadeh. Set and Costumes: Marg Horwell. Movement Director and Choreography: Imogen Knight. Light design: Paule Constable. With music by: Yannis Philippakis. Sound Design: Josh Anio Grigg. Casting Director: Jacob Sparrow. Associate Director: Joanna Pidcock. Dramaturgical Support: Sasha Milavic Davies. Voice Director: Cathleen McCarron. Photography: Stephanie Claire (@stephanieclairephotography) / Christophe Raynaud de Lage