WHILE I only have the very best of memories of my dad when growing up, many people aren't so lucky and this powerful and thought provoking piece, being performed at Manchester International Festival, reminded me, yet again, just how lucky me and my fellow siblings have been.
Three writers, Scott Graham, Simon Stephens and Underworld's Karl Hyde, returned to their respective home towns to interview various men about their memories of pater and the end result is an evening of theatre that has the same emotional impact as being hit by a juggernaut.
Fatherland's creators have also added their own recollections of their dads.
By far the most distressing episodes involves one of the characters recalling the after effects of a devastating fire in graphic, gut wrenching detail. How apt, of course, in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London.
This is a testosterone fuelled drama tinged with tragedy and performed with raw energy and gusto with a cast that includes the writers themselves. I wasn't totally convinced by the decision to set the sometimes plodding dialogue to music. But the music, specially created for the show by Underworld's Karl Hyde, provides a very effective backdrop to a play that tackles everything from the ecstasy of becoming a dad to coping with mental illness.
If you go to see Fatherland, don't expect to spend 90 minutes sitting cosily in your comfort zone. But for me, that's when live theatre is at it's best, when it throws you headlong into a world very, very different from your own.
* Until July 22. The box office is on 0161 833 9833. Star rating - ****