Fallen didn’t quite do it. A piece of physical theatre/clowning the show has all the elements that characterise this genre but we’ve seen it before and we’ve seen it done better. Devlin Mark Brown, who sweats and stumbles through this story of a journalist stuck in the middle of no-where, is charming in places and had a few honest moments of heart-felt acting and did a good job of playing the many comical characters but lost me quite often. And with a style many, and myself personally, are familiar with, that has been at home on the Festival for years, where the likes of Daniel and Andrew Buckland and UBOM! rule the stage displaying breath-taking skill and craftsmanship, the show just does not compare.
The show follows the journey of a once successful journalist/tv anchor who is sent to one of those tiny farming communities in either the Karroo or the Free-state to cover the falling meteorite that threatens the way of life of the community. Swapping between the many wacky characters, the guy has one of those journeys of discovery of oneself we know so well, coming to terms with the tragedies in his own life through investigating the tragedies of the small town.
Directed by Mongi Mthombeni, who I ogled up at as a 12 year old in awe as one of the physical theatre protégés to come out of Rhodes, his influence is clear. The magical realism, the comedy turns tragedy, the angst-filled symbolism, the use of shadow work and the over-all physical nature of the show.
But the show needed a good edit. There were some moments or scenes that just dragged and felt unnecessary in terms of the story on a whole. I often found my attention drifting into daydream and needed to mentally slap myself and get focus back on the show. The staging was interesting, with a innovative use of coloured torches to create a very realistic looking meteor and the simple, white screen that was wheeled successfully around the stage to assist in creating environment.
My experience of this show was not bad, it has some very entertaining moments but overall it didn’t completely capture or satisfy me.