The Falling Song by Junk Ensemble @ LICA, Lancaster
Directed by Jessica Kennedy & Megan Kennedy | Reviewed 6 March 2014
I have been looking for a long time for a good physical theatre company that breaks some boundaries and presents some new concepts and ideas. I had heard of Falling Song and Junk Ensemble on twitter and then LICA asked me to go and see this companies work at their venue. The theatre was filled and clearly this company had sparked a lot of interest.
The set on arrival revealed a collection of different items including mattresses, apples, intricately knotted ropes, ladders and a rather interestingly intricate apparatus (later revealed to be the vessel that would create the music). Visually I was already captured as I could see that the space would allow for a lot of movement, for a change in levels and climbing to be involved.
The performers were Omar Gordon, Carl Harrison, Eddie Kay and Jesse Kovarsky. There was also a musician, who used the intricate instrumental apparatus, called George Higgins. The movement and physical action carried a lot of energy and momentum at times. However in sections there was some slower and more controlled moves. Often resulting in repetition and a series of catching and falling actions. I really enjoyed the moments when the performers would fall backwards and be caught by another performer only holding them at the necks. Showed the control and strength they had.
My favourite moment was when the performers climbed the ladders and then allowed themselves to drop and be ‘caught’ by gravity. They then landed face first on the mattresses. This I found very exciting and engaging. It was a captivating moment as you realised how brave the performers where and how well timed it was to allow the next performer to fall shortly behind them.
There was a guest appearance from a local choir from Dallas Road Community Primary School of Lancaster. They provided an interesting underscore and musical interjection to the action. They were a disciplined group and some even took part in the physical action – which I felt was very brave.
The choreography was excellent and visually stimulating – well done to Co-Artistic Directors Jessica Kennedy and Megan Kennedy. Really dynamic and layered throughout the piece keeping it varied. You could see the collaboration that had taken place in the work, with the performers, as the moves varied in style, pace and energy.