Four people are onstage at the start of this play: Sean Campion and Scott Turnbull, the actors playing a mother/daughter pair, and a real-life mother/daughter pair. Watching the conversation taking place in front of them, their physical similarity is striking.
It manages to feel both refreshing and original whilst also being familiar – a little like every family conversation I’ve had.
In another production, this might feel like a cheap – a desire to prove theatre has a place in the ‘real’ world – but for this stripped-back play, it feels like it provides an honesty to the piece. Gods are Fallen and All Safety Gone allows an exploration of the moment(s) of realisation that our parents are just as flawed, and thus human, as everyone else in the world.
Made up of a series of conversations which can only take place in families – at once mundane and banal but also incredibly important – the play is concerned wholly with the familial. From bickering over the effects of rain, sun and wind on crops to the fallout from a breakup, it is the detail in the writing which make the conversations both unique and entirely recognisable, and provides the necessary universality to the play. The play’s ending is sobering for all the things that simply can’t be said by the characters – the gaps in their conversations are far more striking than anything that has actually been said.
The acting is strong for the most part from both men and the fact they are men playing women is soon forgotten. Their gender soon falls into the background of the play. At times it would be nice to have moments where the dialogue was slightly pacier, but for the most part Campion and Turnbull are strong in their delivery.
It seems fitting that their conversations happen over multiple cups of tea, their choice of drink as everyday as the conversations themselves. Gods are Fallen and All Safety Gone manages to feel both refreshing and original whilst also being familiar – a little like every family conversation I’ve had.