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Rufus Norris

Director and producer for theatre and film

Theatre, Film & TV
Nick Marston
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Festen

Almeida, 2004 Director Rufus Norris Writer David Eldridge Starring Jonny Lee Miller & Tom Hardy

As in the original movie, Festen satirises the hypocrisy of a large and wealthy family by observing the events that unfold at the ancestral home during a reunion held to celebrate the oldest family member's 60th birthday.

As the time arises for birthday speeches to be made to the party's subject, one of his sons stands and asks the assembled guests to choose which of two prepared speeches he should read. The guests select one not knowing its contents, and the son declares it the "truth speech". As he begins to talk, it becomes dramatically clear that he is not praising his father but accusing him of having abused him and his sister over a period of years during their childhood. The rest of the story traces the family's turbulent battle with the truth to discover whether the son's cold rage is justified or the product of a deranged imagination.

Festen

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the beauty of Norris's production is that it implies familial disintegration from the outset

Michael Billington The Guardian

Utterly essential viewing

Paul Taylor The Independent