The play starts with the kind of liberating high energy that only the youth can deliver, their smiles and popping dance moves luring the audience into a belief that you’re about to be entertained in a ‘high school musical’ fashion. But from the first act, you realise this is far from the case.
Running straight for about seventy minutes, THE FALL is divided into three stories, each speaking to how modern society deals with a dying generation, reminding us all of our own immortality which is a pressing subject often avoided, yet this play does it eloquently and with much grace. The set is simple and the costume even simpler which gives way to the strong narrative that overrides everything.
Story One: The loneliness of the unseen elderly male, amidst the urgency of youthful hormones is the first introduction to what this play is about and is beautifully performed by the clearly talented cast.
Story Two: The burden of a loved one as they get older can be a weight to a family just at the start of their growth and you are gripped as decisions made in secret become clear. You forget the youthfulness of the cast and their growth into mature adults is both believable and easily identifiable.
Story Three: The portrayal of the ultimate disposal of the older generation in this story can easily bring tears to eyes and a jolt of guilt to the soul, leaving you reflecting and almost resolved to want to see change. Never had I imagined that the words, “Petra, turn on the light. Petra, turn off the light” could be so powerful.
The Fall, written by James Fritz and Directed by Matt Harrison, successfully addresses the issue of the growing generational gap between the youth and the elderly in a remarkable way.
The National Youth Theatre has done it again, bringing to the London stage a striking piece of work. James Fritz’s, The Fall, is challenging, wonderfully paced and Matt Harrison has a magical way of losing the unnecessary in order to give voice to what is important.
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