Sarah Rutherford’s play The Girl Who Fell channels that adult concern, evoking the Snapchat-centric world of the teenager at the point where things go terribly wrong. Thea’s teenage daughter Sam has died, and social media has something to do with it. Bereaved yet determined, she sets out on a mission to get to the bottom of events, accompanied by teenage twins Lenny and Billie and lost soul Gil.
Sarah Rutherford is former writer in residence at Park Theatre, and her play Adult Supervision was a sell-out back in 2013. Here again, she grapples with the unspoken. One line from the play runs: ‘It seems wrong that she experienced something so huge without me. Like if your kids had sex before you did.’ But this is a comedy too, and laughter signals that we have to make these problems approachable if we want to find a way to solve them.
While in part, Rutherford's new play channels Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why and Kimberly McCreight's lesser-known 2013 book Reconstructing Amelia, it focuses less on its vacant protagonist and more on the lives of those left to pick up the pieces after her death. Some scenes feel a little soap opera-esque, adding grand new plot twists which detract from the central and important focus of a teenager who has taken her own life partly because of social media. It's also guilty, at times, of skirting around the edges of the effects of social media on our mental health, leaving this very real issue hanging like a cloud in the background, rather than delving into the nitty-gritty of our online world. At the same time, there's little else like The Girl Who Fell on stage right now and it's an important piece of theatre, particularly for teenagers and their parents.
The Girl Who Fell stars Claire Goose (Casualty, The Bill) in the role of Thea and Rosie Day (All Roads Lead to Rome, Watership Down) as Billie, along with Navin Chowdhry as Gil and Will Fletcher – making his professional debut – as Lenny. The close quarters of Trafalgar Studios' smaller performance space suit the challenging, intimate subject matter of this play.
Gold Culture Whisper members can redeem a free pair of tickets to The Girl Who Fell on 15 & 16 October 7:45PM - 9PM
|What||The Girl Who Fell, Trafalgar Studios review|
|Where||Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2DY | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Charing Cross (underground)|
15 Oct 19 – 23 Nov 19, 7:45 PM – 9:30 PM
|Price||£20 – £35|