Landfall

The idea of some supernatural being falling down to Earth and helping change the lives of us mere mortals is a powerful myth that resonates down human history, from the biologically peculiar trysts of randy Egyptian and Greek gods to Superman and David Bowie's The Man Who Fell To Earth. Yet so iconic is this narrative (let's face it, even quite a few religions have followed a similar storyline) that any new retelling really needs something special in order to make it memorable. Which, alas, is where Unsolicited Artists Theatre Troupe from Memphis, Tennessee, come a bit of a cropper.

The supernatural innocent on this occasion is the North Star, tricked down from the sky by the jealous sisters Wind, Water and Ground - portrayed, Greek-theatre style, with flowing robes, stylish masks and some 'expressive' physical movement which keeps just to the fringes of risible. 'North' crashes to Earth in the form of a young teenage boy, bereft of either his memories or any ability to use contractions in his speech. Left for dead by the three sisters, he eventually awakens and makes his way to the house of a local wildlife ranger. Here, almost immediately, he becomes the source of conflict between one anguished man, his wife and his rapidly maturing daughter.

At one point Water suggests that North will 'burn everything he touches'; this anticipates a threat which disappointingly never materialises, even though on occasions North's touch is shown to be hot enough to burn. Admittedly, the ranger's decision to eject North from his home does trigger a series of events which will alter that family's dynamic forever; not the least because he himself realises the difficulties of navigating the land around him without reference to the unchanging North Star above his head.

Just like most supernaturals who fall to Earth, there comes a time when they must return to whatever celestial sphere they call home. There is some emotional poignancy as North realises why he must re-assume his responsibilities in the heavens, but the lesson learned by the three elemental sisters - that we all have to work together to stop things falling apart - is frankly trite and distracting. Some heart-felt performances notwithstanding, this is a pretty forgettable fallen star.

Reviews by Paul F Cockburn

Multiple Venues

Nests

★★★
Dundee Rep Theatre / Macrobert Arts Centre

The Yellow on the Broom

★★★
Underbelly, Bristo Square

Tom Neenan: It's Always Infinity

★★★★
Assembly George Square Studios

Police Cops in Space

★★★★★
Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre

Rik Carranza: Still a Fan

★★★★
Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre

Marmite

★★★★

Performances

The Blurb

A modern fairy tale about how a young star is tricked out of the sky and how one little star can change a family's life forever.