Review by Georgia Knight.
I didn’t know what to expect when I visited Northern Stage to see a show called Fall Out. I like to enter a performance with a fresh and open mind, rather than with the words of the shows blurb imprinted on my brain, and then afterwards I can see if the description matches what I have experienced. Fall Out is described as a “high-energy physical theatre performance [that] takes you inside a nightclub where three teenage friends embark on a journey of love, loss and self-discovery” I would say that the performance greatly delivered this and a whole lot more.
Fall Out revolved around the setting of a club and looked at a love triangle between old friend, Will, new boyfriend Jay, and Annie, who is caught up in the middle of this conflict of clashing interests. Annie is blossoming into a young woman, but can’t seem to quite decide her place in the world as the males in her life pressure her to be opposing versions of herself – spontaneous versus sensible. Long time friend and non-romantic companion, Will is burdened by the loss of his mother and wants Annie to be there for him 24/7. However, her new boyfriend Jay is tearing their companionship apart. Jay is tense and impulsive, he is obsessed with changing the world and it is revealed he has planned an organised team suicide of teenagers all over the country. Jay wants to be Annie’s Romeo and is attempting to get her to jump off the roof of the club with him. Having experienced loss already and having arguably more mature political views, Will is determined to prevent this from happening. Things go wrong with a struggle on the roof and Jay and Annie remain and we learn Will dropped to his death.
Based on a mix of real life events, the plot is fast paced and gripping, full of twists and turns. The theatre piece is immersive and told through energetic, professional dance as well as wonderfully realistic and emotionally driven acting. The play was told in an interesting format that required the audience to move around, which I feel emotionally involved the audience more than a traditional seated performance would have.
Highly Sprung co-directors Mark and Sarah Worth say: “Fall Out is about young people searching for their voice through adolescence to adulthood. Focused at a young audience, it looks at issues that aren’t easily discussed at home or at school, and are therefore often swept under the carpet. Fall Out gives the audience a chance to face these issues head on, in a positive way.” I feel the performance achieved these aims very effectively, the play was incredibly powerful and thought-provoking. The audience, including myself, were very moved by the theatre piece and all thoroughly enjoyed it. I believe that the resonating subject matter makes the play have a certain longevity – it was powerful and important and thus, unforgettable, elevating it from good theatre to great theatre.