The Fallen is a dark and gritty period piece set in a Victorian institution for inconvenient women preparing for transportation to the colonies. It follows the personal relationships of the women as they await the inevitable. Presenting a history where colonial women felt entrapped, both in their traditional roles as females and in a colony, the play depicts the internal female rage against the feminine trap and how women can turn on each other, and ourselves in our fury, rather than the external reason for our limited options.
The women struggle with the oppression of a society demanding they be anything but themselves. Their personal histories, their passions, their sexuality, their very personalities are traits to be quashed. As the time for their enforced departure gets closer, pressure builds within their group and themselves and threatening to blow them apart.
As the women begin to unravel they turn on each other in the cruellest ways. Their fury and frustration at their lack of choice and individuality causes them to act out with violence and fury at each other and within themselves.
While the setting is Victorian, the themes are current in the era of the #metoo Movement. The play explores the female internal rage and the experience of being trapped by their own circumstance.
The actors portray with brutal honesty the way women can internalise rage and pain and turn on each other in the face of oppression. At times confronting, the women’s violence and sexualised defiance is pared back to reveal the vulnerability and genuine tenderness that is within. The characters are unapologetically real and without any softening filter. The stage set itself is a dynamic work of art that falls apart at the seams right along with the characters.
Engrossing, confronting and honest, this is a play that will take you down a dark, dark path of emotional connection with an oppression and fury that crosses all eras – from Victorian to this very day.
However, while extremely well acted by the actors, the play was let down by the length of the show and this was demonstrated by some of the audience - who became extremely tired during the show...the show inevitably became a little bit indulgent and superfluous and seem to weaken its main points. The point could have been much more powerful with a little editing.
Dates: 15- 26 August 2018
Location: fortyfivedownstairs (45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne)
Times: Tuesday- Sat - 7.30pm and Sunday 5pm
Cost: $43 Full, $33 Concession, $38 Groups 6, $25 Preview