Online Safety. Every parent’s heart sinks at the phrase. The Girl Who Fell explores the fallout of the events following surrounding a young girl’s (Sam) social media activity, and her subsequent suicide.
The story is told from the perspective of those Sam was closest to, and the person whose car she landed on when she jumped off a motorway bridge, exploring the individual guilt and morality of those characters, including the part they played in her death.
Sam’s Mum, Thea, is played by Claire Goose, who achieved incredibly well the physicality of a broken mother. Goose gave an emotional performance, and is perfectly cast in the role. Navin Chowdhry played the role of Gil, a medical professional whom builds a romantic bond, and mutual, but dangerous, support system with Thea. This relationship was wonderful exploration of how two people who need help may not be strong enough to support one another.
Sam’s best friend Billie, and her twin brother Lenny (Sam’s Boyfriend) are played by Rosie Day and Will Fletcher. This pair provide the bulk of the comedy moments, and aside from red hair, could not be more different as twins. Day embodied a stroppy, unremarkable teenage girl, wheeling around with one wheelie shoe on, which kept the whole thing mobile for much of the play. Fletcher gave a hilarious performance, his physicality of a teenage boy acting up, but clearly having an internal battle between his masculine and sensitive sides. Fletchers physicality was what I would describe as clown (in the traditional sense), he embodied comedy and character, but in a deadly serious manner. Fletcher was the standout performer for me.
Sarah Rutherford has written a superb script, exploring real issues. She is absolutely correct in saying that none of the issues scrutinized are new, they are parallel to real stories that we see all over the world every day. The script is poetic as it is truthful, and I enjoyed the writing so much. Rutherford’s background studying English at Oxford is evident in her writing, as it is strewn with well-placed quotes from English literature throughout history.
Hannah Price has done a fantastic job of the direction, an awkward shaped thrust studio space, the staging was not an easy task, but Price used the vomitorium lines perfectly to her advantage, and some powerful moments were produced with this.
The performances and production throughout was top class work. I would say that whilst the comedy moments were fantastic, and very well received, some of the more emotional moments could have been a little more poignant. It didn’t make me feel especially emotional at any moment, and the opportunity is certainly there in this fantastic script. I also felt it ran quite a bit longer than it had been billed, coming in at around 110 minutes, this is a long time to keep focus on a dialogue heavy script. Until 23rd November https://trafalgar-studios.com/shows/the-girl-who-fell/
Reviewer: Andrew Lee
Reviewed: 17th October 2019
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★