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BWW Review: THE FALL, Southwark Playhouse


BWW Review: THE FALL, Southwark Playhouse

BWW Review: THE FALL, Southwark Playhouse Commissioned as part of National Youth Theatre's 60th anniversary in 2016, James Fritz's The Fall takes a candid look at young people's relationship with their elders, mixing humour with a deeper contemplation of life and death.

Director Matt Harrison stages an impressive critique on the ever-increasing crisis of care and housing, telling three stories about reconciling growing up with growing old: while two teenagers sneak into a man's house, a young couple learn to live with a debilitated parent, and a home offers the option to alleviate the burden of being old.

Fritz's clever script comes alive in Harrison's slick, fast-paced direction and the company's excellent delivery. There isn't a flawed performance in the ensemble, who show all the potential of diversity and inclusion in the future of British theatre.

The playwright's delicately outspoken writing finds fertile ground with the actors, who share exemplary chemistry and treat the subject with graceful poignancy. The decadence of body and mind is rationalised first through the minds of the ones who outlive the elderly and then through the latter themselves in an exquisite reflection on the relief of death.

The decision to have everyone in the cast under 25 is crucial to the impact the show has, as the antipodal approach to age brings a freshness to the already captivating play. The exchanges between the characters are dynamic and energetic even in their stillness thanks to Harrison's direction.

Muffled dance music and strobe lighting (designed by Jak Poore and Christopher Nairne respectively) play an important part in removing the piece from any too specific time and setting, making it a universal experience. With The Fall, the company's spirit glows as they showcase their attentive and compassionate work and shine a light on a marginalised group.

The Fall runs at Southwark Playhouse until 19 May.

Read our interview with James Fritz

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