Father Unknown tells the story of Alfie who finds out he’s going to be a dad during GCSE English. Alfie’s life has mainly consisted of cans of monster, jumping the metro, playing Xbox and narrowly avoiding getting chucked out of class, but things are about to change… and fast.

Father Unknown is a funny, challenging and honest look at young fatherhood made in collaboration with young dads at The North East Young Dads and Lads and Newcastle University.

The show was performed at Gala Durham on 15th June and then Northern Stage on 16th & 17th June 2023.

This digital theatre version of the show was filmed at Northern Stage (Stage 3) on Friday 16th June 2023 by Stephen Smith of Threedom Theatre.

Collaborators and Funders

North East Young Dads and Lads

Newcastle University

Durham Gala

Baltic Centre of Contemporary Art

Arts Council England

Loud noises including gunshots (in a gaming context), flashing lights, mature language, sexual references and themes which others may find distressing, such as traumatic birth.

This show has had a fascinating journey, born from a passion to tell their stories, the young dads at The North East Young Dads and Lads enlisted human geographer Dr Michael Richardson and creative practitioner Jonah York to help produce their story. Both artists have an incredibly close connection with these young men, working in various capacities for the charity for the last three years and have been inspired by the creative potential of these young men and their stories.

Father Unknown is an amalgamation of a selection of young dads who’ve been part of a long term artistic engagement project. These young dads permeate throughout the creative process of Father Unknown, featuring as writers, interviewers, creators and facilitators. This is more than a show, this is advocacy, youth work and a celebration of parenthood, family and adolescence, the highs, the lows and the undying love each young father has for their child.

Alfie – Ryan Nolan
Producers – Jonah York and Dr Michael Richardson
Director – Jonah York
Stage Manager – Rosie Bowden
Writers Room – Elijah Young, Steve Byron, Jonah York, Dr Michael Richardson and the young fathers at The North East Young Dads and Lads
Set Designer – Aileen Kelly
Sound Designer – Jayne Dent (Me Lost Me)
Lighting Designer – Simon Cole
Digital Theatre Consultant – Stephen Smith
Collaborators and Funders; Newcastle University, Northern Stage, Durham Gala, Arts Council, The Baltic Centre of Contemporary Arts and The North East Young Dads and Lads.