Freefall captures mood of bewilderment moments before death

This article is from 2010.

Freefall captures mood of bewilderment moments before death

Dublin theatre group's Fringe show captures mood of the times

It would be misleading to say the latest play by Dublin’s Corn Exchange was about the credit crunch, the collapse of the Celtic Tiger and the scandals within the Catholic church, but those events were playing out when Freefall was created last year and the context rubbed off.

On the surface, it is about an ordinary family man trying to make sense of his life in the moments before his death. But one reason it struck a chord with audiences on its award-winning debut at the Dublin Theatre Festival last year was the atmosphere of bewilderment that captured the mood of the times.

‘The country broke and we did nothing about it for years and years,’ says playwright Michael West when I meet him at the Galway Arts Festival. ‘It wasn’t just the bankers’ money – all of us stayed silent. The country was deeply involved in its own destruction. Why are we culturally so removed from our experience? How can somebody be deprived of the language to describe his situation? How can they be silent in the face of their own failure?’

Traverse, 228 1404, 8–29 Aug (not 9, 16, 23), times vary, £17–£19 (£12–£13). Previews 6 & 7 Aug, £12 (£6).

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