All That Fall – reviews

Bríd Brennan and Adrian Dunbar in All That Fall. Photos by Richard Davenport. Audience photos by Robert Workman.

Bríd Brennan and Adrian Dunbar in All That Fall. Photos by Richard Davenport. Audience photos by Robert Workman.

All That Fall – Reviews

All That Fall is at the Arts Theatre, West End. Must End 14 May.

4 STARS
“Ingenious and evocative staging… Richly layered”
Sarah Hemming, Financial Times

4 STARS
“All the captivating, complex humanity of Beckett’s play… Brid Brennan is a wonderful Mrs Rooney, her lovely voice resonating with nuances of bawdy, misery, self-importance, outrage and inconsolable longing”
Jane Shilling, Daily Telegraph

“As the narrative builds and flesh grows around these characters’ bones the play reveals itself to be a thing of great beauty… In your head you are your own director, designer and creative team”
Tim Bano, Exeunt

4 STARS
“It works brilliantly. What hits you, especially in the first half, is Beckett’s graveyard wit which has the audience constantly chuckling… Wearing blindfolds forces us to listen more intently. I was especially struck not just by the tenacity of Beckett’s Protestantism but by his evocation of a past where the rural poor were steeped in books… This long-ignored piece strikes me as Beckett’s best play and in Stafford-Clark’s production, with its diverse aural decor and voices looming at us out of the dark, it comes to vivid life”
Michael Billington, The Guardian

4 STARS
“Out of Joint’s fantastic production… This is sensational storytelling in its purest form. Bríd Brennan as the stout and lugubrious Mrs Rooney, seems to clamber out from the very ground itself to unleash her suffering on the world. She is quite simply intoxicating… Funny, stirring and ultimately unnerving, this piece comes as a refreshing change to the West End”
Alex Foott, West End Wilma

4 STARS
“Surprisingly beguiling… In the voice of Bríd Brennan even Beckett’s earthier images shimmer with subtle beauty. As her husband, Gary Lilburn also impresses… An experience to be cherished”
Kate Maltby, The Times (paywall)

5 STARS
“The voice acting by this six-man cast is outstanding, bringing to life a work which should be considered alongside Orson Welles’ War of the World and Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood in any list of greatest radio plays… An unusual, remarkable production”
Steve Dunneen, City AM

5 STARS
“Clever stuff. The acting is first class and the voices ring clearly in the darkness of the blindfolded audience, every character distinctly defined and perfectly acted. This is a unique theatre experience delivered with the precision and direction it demands to pull it off perfectly”
Donna Clark, Everything Theatre

“Stafford-Clark and his cast create a thoroughly real aural landscape. The ringing of a bicycle bell, the chuff-chuff of a steam train and the roar of a passing motor-car are all that one needs to paint a vivid picture of Beckett’s rural setting. The talented cast imbue their characters with individuality and personality, led by Brennan, who conjures up a cantankerous, impatient Mrs Rooney with wonderful vocal expression… As a rough-hewn path into the work and nihilistic philosophy of one of the great playwrights of the twentieth century, it is unparalleled.”
Fergus Morgan A Younger Theatre

4 STARS
“A theatrical coup”
Theatre and Performance Magazine

These reviews of All That Fall are from Bristol where we staged the play in Bristol Old Vic’s paintshop (March 2016). Next stop: Wilton’s Music Hall, London, from 22 March to 9 April.

 

“When first performed in 1957, the play was praised as ‘the most important and irresistible new play for radio since Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood’. And a wonderful work it remains, far more easily digestible than you might expect from its author.

“Its characters are warm, funny, detailed and human – but above them hangs a shard of darkness… This production both revives an otherwise too easily neglected work – and creates something new and unique in its own right. It’s voyeurism without the visuals, a great secret shared en masse.”

Joe Williams, Bristol247

 

“What’s different about this experience vis-à-vis listening to the radio in the warmth of your home is not only the communal aura, but also the immediateness of it all, with the actors passing through and around the audience… All That Fall is a dark comedy that makes you laugh and then wipes it all out… As with anything written by Beckett, and considering the rarity of this experience, the performance of All That Fall is not to be missed. Go and get yourself blindfolded”

Bristol Eye

 

“An engaging and poignant story brilliantly performed by a six person cast… Bríd Brennan’s portrayal of Mrs Rooney is utterly believable and captivating. Her husband played by Gary Lilburn is just as well realised…listening to a blind character describe their world whilst wearing a blindfold is an undeniably moving experience.”

Luke Brady, Inter-Mission Magazine, Bristol

 

“Maddy Rooney is a wonderful tragi-comic creation, and Brid Brennan endows her with a wonderfully rich, creamy voice, highly expressive in its musicality. She is well supported by the rest of the cast… Director Max Stafford-Clark has created something decidedly unusual and intriguing… a satisfyingly immersive experience. Recommended”

Mike Whitton, StageTalk

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