This play asks the very question posed in its title, what happens if you fall? For older and more vulnerable people, a simple slip or fall can have life changing repercussions, requiring ongoing care thereafter.
Focusing on end of life, ‘If You Fall’ shifts the focus from illness to the care system and the families of those needing it. It clever intertwines music effortlessly, in a way that helps tell the stories more vividly, without ever feeling forced on contrived.
The piece starts as the life of Margaret (Heather Williams) is remembered. Having slipped on a book on the stairs, her health rapidly declines. She gives a heartfelt yet hilarious monologue in opposition to her eulogy. The final parts of her life were spoken about in detail. However, like us all, she wants to be remembered for her whole life rather than the final years. These moments of humour are used successfully throughout, humanising the often difficult subject matter.
We also meet Cricket enthusiast Norman (Kirris Riviere), who is devastatingly diagnosed with dementia, leaving doting son Connor (Jabari Ngozi) to pick up the pieces. Similar to Margarets children, he is doing his best to care for the parent who cared for always him.
‘If You Fall’ was devised by the company itself, which somewhat explains how incredibly heartfelt and relatable it is. During the bows at the end, it was easy to see how emotionally drained some of the cast were. I think both the cast and audience needed a good hug after the 70-minute rollercoaster of emotions. Theatre should make you feel, and ‘If You Fall’ achieves that and then some. It is a life affirming yet heart-breaking analysis on love and end of life care. 'If You Fall' is simply unmissable and remains at HOME Manchester until Saturday 13 May 2023. See below for booking information:
Note: My ticket was gifted. Irrespective of whether a show is gifted or bought, I always ensure that my reviews are fair and based on my honest opinion alone.