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Southwark Playhouse, London

The Fall
5.0Reviewer's Rating

Divided into three parts with different groups of actors, “The Fall” is a daring and controversial new play by the National Youth Theatre, rich in both themes and rhythms. Alternating with music and dancing, as well as short interviews with elderly people, the plays explore the different stages of life, its joys and challenges in Britain today and in a not too distant future. All ten actors are astonishing by the depth and variation of emotions which they display and perform, interacting in different ways to express an array of ideas.

Niyi Akin and Jesse Bateson portray a teen-age couple, who, desperate to find a place to be intimate, end up in the house of an elderly man cared for by the Girl. After a really fun interlude of singing and flirting, and wondering what it is to be old, they find him half-dead after a fall. What will they decide to do? Call an ambulance? Accompany him until the end?

Looking now at adulthood, Sophie Couch and Troy Richards charge through life at breakneck speed with their first child, their first rented accommodation, their first jobs. But with the man’s mother falling ill, how can they afford an expensive care-home? Like many young couples in Britain today, they have no savings, no property, no pension. If mother was “gone”, the sale of her flat could resolve all issues: will her daughter-in-law provide a helping hand?

This sombre idea is further examined in the third play in which Jamie Ankrah, Madeline Charlemagne, Josie Charles, Jamie Foulkes, Lucy Harvard and Joshua Williams inhabit a dystopian nursing home. The building is overcrowded and automated, and the manager proposes the option for the residents to leave compensation to their children at the cost of their own life. Is this the ultimate consequence of an ageing population in a country undergoing housing and care crises?

Exploiting the head-lines in an in-depth and political fashion, this exceptional new play will make you think and feel, of your loved ones and of your own future. Gripping.

About The Author

Reviewer (UK)

Caroline Perret is a researcher and teacher in the Social History of Art at the University of Westminster. She is particularly interested in the impact of war on culture, from painting and sculpture to poetry and cinema, in which she publishes and gives conferences. She loves unusual artistic performances and theatre plays, anything that might expand her horizons and fulfill her hunger for new experiences.

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