The Girl Who Fell ★★★

The Girl Who Fell
Trafalgar Studios, London
Tuesday 15th October - Saturday 23rd November 2019

At the tender and vulnerable age of fifteen, Sam is dead. She's taken her own life and left behind a bereaving mother who is awaiting trail after being accused of her daughter's death. The true culprit in the story is idea of social media, and the way it's manipulated the world left behind in Sam's world, with boyfriend Lenny (Will Fletcher) lost with his thoughts and bickering with his twin sister Billie (Rosie Day).

The two share most of their scenes together and fundamentally the writing is shared with a clear sense of understanding, with the theme of bereavement running through the text with justice. Fletcher in particular is fragile in the role of Will through his facial expressions and mannerisms, which is heartbreaking at times, whereas Day embodies the feistiness and the true detective, always full of questions which she wants to get to the bottom to.

Claire Goose and Navin Chowdry complete the cast of four as Thea, the mother of Sam, and Gil, a new figure of hope in Thea's tormenting life. Both do justice to the script but at times feel stale in their performances, with little empathy and moments of plot twists unable to land. When Fletcher or Goose interact with the older cast however, the scenes are usually brought to life with ease and energy. It's clearly been quite hard for writer Sam Rutherford to understand grief within parenting, but gives a substantial difference to the younger members of cast. Gil in particular is poorly written with only one tone and motive which is often rehashed, feeling that we've at times hit an essence of Groundhog Day.

Overall, As a condensed piece of theatre, the art to create laughter from the most poignant of moments during Rutherford's piece of nostalgia and loss is what makes The Girl Who Fell so precious, but to get to these moments we have to plough through dialogue and subplots which are predictable and create little suspense.


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