One Step Before the Fall

One of a trio of pieces that make up the Czech dance showcase at this year’s fringe, One Step Before the Fall uses a contemporary style to explore the life of Muhammad Ali.

Short of a recording of the man himself, distressingly riddled with Parkinson’s and barely coherent, played at the beginning of the performance, this theme is not particularly clear; it could be documenting the struggles faced by any boxer, anywhere. However, it does explore this wider idea fairly successfully.

Markéta Vacovská’s enviable muscle tone, physicality and emotional commitment to the role make her a believable fighter as she darts, jabs and rolls her way around the stage. It was particularly interesting to see her transform the empty space into a boxing ring, erecting poles and wires to form ropes. The use of these as an aide to the movement in the piece added another dimension to the performance and the swooping dive towards the audience was a moment of high drama.

The action on stage was complemented superbly by Lenka Dusilová, the Czech Grammy award winner, who sat to the side, providing a micro performance of her own. She used her own haunting vocals, a guitar, a bass and a computer to loop, layer and manipulate sounds into an intriguing and beguiling soundtrack.

This is a truly interesting piece of work. It tackles an unusual subject in an unusual way and is unlike anything else I have seen before. It has its faults, for instance there are certain sequences where you lose the plot for a while, but it is refreshing to see people attempting something a little bit different.

The company should be complimented on an unusual, well executed and truly collaborative performance. For lovers of contemporary dance, watching One Step Before the Fall will be a rewarding and refreshing experience.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

The Blurb

The story of Muhammad Ali: Parkinson's, exhaustion, and victorious reconciliation told through powerful dance by Markéta Vacovská, nominated for Best Performance Thalie Award, with music from Dusilová, holder of the Czech Grammy for Best Singer.

Most Popular See More

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £15.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Grease the Musical

From £20.00

More Info

Find Tickets