Gods are Fallen and All Safety Gone

British Theatre Guide / Catherine Lamm

“What happens when a child realizes that their parents are not these all-knowing, perfect beings.”

Two men wander about the stage, one older and one younger. The young man unfolds and refolds shirt from a large stack. Once the audience is settle there is a startling, almost instantaneous change as the step into their characters. “Did I wake you?”

They continue to wander cautiously, frantically around the playing area, looking and not looking at each other. The relationship is established quite quickly although it takes a little longer to assimilate that this is mother and daughter.

“Did you shower”, “Did you speak to Auntie”, “Do you want a cup of tea?”; the everyday conversation between mother and grown daughter, how they’ve learned and taught each other to communicate.

The scene changes by the daughter putting on the next shirt from the stack. The dialogue starts out identically but is slightly altered by the information we get from the first scene. We feel in the daughter a mounting sense of annoyance, frustration, guilt.

The mother asks, “Are you happy?” “Right now, yes.” “And you?” The mother’s response, “I’d have to think about it.” So the relationship is set; subtle yet loaded.

Each scene brings a different shirt, a relationship more knowing. As it progresses through time, we realise that the daughter must accept the flaws of the mother (“Did you love dad?” “We got used to each other.”) and the inevitability of the end of their relations. This is a play about parents and children who grow up. Most of us know how to talk to our parents but have not learned how to communicate.

Grayscale Theatre Company’s Sean Campion as mother and Scott Turnbull as daughter are incredible ”at being themselves and the characters at the same time”. They master the space, their physical relationship and, most important, the pauses. Writer/Director Selma Dimitrijevic has given them a great and familiar meal and allowed them to chew on it at will.

We learn about ourselves and others. This is poignant, cogent and painful stuff; as exciting as theatre gets.

Get your tickets here –> Gods are Fallen and All Safety Gone