Wed 31 Aug
words: LYNDA NASH
“Sometimes love goes in search of itself and finds the wrong thing.”
How hard can it be to tell the difference between an angel and a devil? For the inhabitants of a sinister Welsh farm, where stones hold grudges, the answer depends on their inner fantasies.
Fallen opens with Gwydion, the ‘third daughter’, parading around in his sister’s underwear, and it is immediately obvious that the family are dysfunctional. Farmer Gwyn (Jâms Thomas: Torchwood, Belonging) is a violent alcoholic, younger sister Megan (Ceri Lloyd: Holby City) has not ventured outside for four years. Isolation and grief have skewed the family’s version of reality, and only librarian Gwendolyn (Joanna Simpkins) has contact with the world and then only to go to work or shop at Lidl. Her family rely on her, she is the sensible one, but as the play progresses it becomes clear that Gwen is just as delusional as the others.
Gwydion (Francois Pandolfo: Eastenders, Baker Boys) likes to spend time standing by the river. One night the corpse of an exotic, beautiful man falls from the sky and Gwydion falls in love. He and his sisters carry the body into the farmhouse and one by one they project their subconscious desires onto the stranger. But they are not the only ones interested in him, and when a man in a Barbour coat (Gerald Tyler) is seen approaching the farm, the result is a frantic, farcical rush to hide the body.
The play wavers from farce to drama, horror to suspense without a pause to catch your breath. However, Greg Cullen’s dark comedy is often a little too dark, it tackles some heavy themes of loss, loneliness, love and incest. Implication would have been enough but the theatre company are not called Shock N Awe for nothing.
Shakespeare meets The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Fallen shocks and amuses but not in equal parts. Superbly acted, often touching, not for the feint-hearted or the easily offended, Fallen will stay with you long after you’ve left the auditorium.