Theatre Alibi present...
By Daniel Jamieson
What happens when terra firma isn’t firm at all...?
It’s five o’clock on a normal weekday evening. Claire and her teenage daughter Alice are making tea. Alice pops out to fetch some apples from the shed. But in the blink of an eye she’s disappeared down a hole that’s suddenly yawned open on the lawn... What happens when life swallows you whole and terror is only a heartbeat away?
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Falling deals fearlessly with the darkness of real people’s lives.”
THE REVIEWS HUB
“Its haunting resonance stems from remarkable performances by two actors perfectly in tune.”
Theatre Alibi combine powerful performance, projection, puppetry and a thrilling live soundscape to tell a raw and intimate story. Previous shows include Fish Eye, Goucher’s War, Cobbo, Curiosity Shop and Hammer & Tongs.
“The house had shivered, like someone had slammed the front door, only it lasted for two or three seconds. It was round twenty to five and already getting dark. I called for Alice, who’d gone to get some apples from the shed and went outside. I could hear the sliding of earth and pebbles and the sound was coming from our lawn – but it wasn’t the sound a lawn should be making. The turf was hanging down like a torn carpet over the edge of a neat hole in the earth about 12 feet across – it was a funnel going down out of sight into darkness. There was cold air rushing out of it that smelt of damp cellars. And Alice had fallen down there…”
Sinkholes are an extraordinary phenomenon. Huge gaping chasms that appear in the blink of an eye and can swallow whole buildings, cars and people. The hole that Alice falls down is caused by the collapse of an old mine. And the whole town is riddled with old mineshafts, like Gruyère cheese.
Falling tells the emotionally powerful story of Claire and her teenage daughter, Alice and explores what happens to both of them when what they thought was solid was, quite literally, undermined.
Claire miraculously manages to rescue Alice who is clinging on to a tree root just before it gives way. Mother and daughter leave their home and start to try and rebuild their lives. But the trauma of the experience they’ve been through drives them apart and each becomes withdrawn – everything for them becomes “before” or “after” the accident as they struggle to cope. Claire, an artist and art teacher turns to exploring darkness and holes to try and make sense emotionally of what has happened. She looks at the works of other artists like Goya and Breughel and images of mouths and space and other natural phenomena like whirlpools. She spends more and more time locked up in her studio trying to represent the void.
Meanwhile Alice is going completely off the rails, failing her A Levels, unable to connect socially or emotionally with other people. In despair she makes an attempt on her own life. The story describes the relationship of mother and daughter brilliantly and movingly, whilst also offering an interesting insight into the fragility of our lives and our sense of security.
Falling is written by Theatre Alibi Associate Writer Daniel Jamieson and directed by the company’s Artistic Director, Nikki Sved. The show combines testimony with vivid physical re-enactment. It’s also a highly visual show with projection and puppetry.
An original live score for electric guitar and a range of loop and echo pedals provide a visceral soundtrack and a range of sound effects that will help drive the tension of the piece.