Northumbria University’s third-year Performing Arts students shone in The Fall, the second of two final year productions created in collaboration with The Northern Stage.
Lilia Rubin, a senior at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, was inspired to create The Fall after discovering The Legacy Letters, a text consisting of heartfelt letters addressed to the victims of 9/11 from family members and loved ones. Lilia wanted to tell the stories of those written by young women who had not only lost their fathers in this national tragedy, but also their future plans, belief systems and identities.
The play setting initially forms a grief counsellor’s office, in which he asks the young women to recall fond memories of their fathers. Each girl is represented by three performers, weaving fond anecdotes of time spent with their father figures amongst superb vocals and harrowing siren wails. One letter explains how her father was a fire-fighter who had died saving the lives of hundreds. Another had secured a job in the south tower high up on the 105th floor a week before the attack.
The most poignant recollection explains the reoccurring nightmares of falling through darkness. She begs to know why her father jumped from the tower, why he gave up so quickly, and if he had thought of her and her mother in those last moments on earth. Was it cold? Did he see god on the way down? Did it hurt?
Their heart-wrenching words of sorrow are told beautifully by this talented cast. Speaking of anguish, hate and confusion, each visibly matures as the play progresses, entering relationships, getting married, and always questioning if their fathers are near and watching over.
An emotional, thought-provoking performance worthy of its acclaim. Unmissable.
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