Fallen Fruit

Two Destination Language are encouraging audiences to see the personal narrative behind history with their performance Fallen Fruit. Set in 1989 at the fall of the Berlin Wall, Katherina Radeva presents two perspectives on this life-changing moment. One is Radeva’s own memories of her childhood in Bulgaria, and she merges her own recollections with those of her parents. The other is two lesbian lovers, Frieda and Serena, who become divided by their choice in where to call home after the changes.

Flaws in the writing detract from Radeva's talent

With her expressive movements and open narration, Radeva clearly has talent as a performer. However, flaws in the writing of Fallen Fruit detract from this. The show begins with a laboured explanation of the Bulgarian alphabet and continues to plod along with a similar slowness. Radeva uses repetition to emphasise the innocence and naivety of her childhood self, but the result is unengaging passages of monologue.

Small cardboard boxes, though a consistent feature of the performance, are not always used very effectively. They litter the stage like a jumble sale and make the performance space seem unnecessarily cluttered. Radeva holds one in each hand as the lovers' heads while she narrates their conversation, which unfortunately borders on comical. The boxes also become props for a game show in which audience members must answer questions on the Communist Manifesto. This scene is broken up by Radeva reaching for boxes with the multiple-choice answers written on them, which makes the sequence feel quite fractured.

There is potential for this to be a highly emotive performance. Radeva shows amazing honesty with regards to how she approached these topics, and the process of reconstructing memories. However, she needs to inject more pace and excitement into the performance to ensure that it does not rest on historic value alone. As it stands, Fallen Fruit is very much lacking.

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

'Back there, back then, I had it all!' In 1989, as the Berlin Wall splits open, a girl looks forward to life beyond communism, a couple unravels and 80s TV permeates everything. A story of love and breaking free and Europe from multi award-winning Two Destination Language. 2019: Britain leaves the EU while Europe celebrates 30 years since the end of the Cold War. Fallen Fruit foregrounds a unique migrant voice born in communist Bulgaria. 'A gem of a small-scale show, coming from a truthful place and putting into sharp perspective the issues of borders... exceptional' (Sarah Brigham).

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