If You Fall – A moving and uplifting exploration of end-of-life care – showing at Bristol Old Vic

Ad Infinitum presents If You Fall – showing at Bristol Old Vic from 5th April – 15th April 2023.

If You Fall – A moving and uplifting exploration of end-of-life care based on real personal testimonies. Directed by Helena Middleton and conceived and original direction by Nir Paldi.

The care system in the UK today remains under-resourced, resulting in older people, their families and carers struggling to approach end of life care with dignity; If You Fall aims to highlight the real people this affects using an intergenerational ensemble, a capella singing and the company’s signature style of physical theatre.

“Riveting in its tension and tragedy…feels enormous and epic” «««« The Guardian (on Beautiful Evil Things) 

@TheatreAdInf | #IfYouFallTour | www.ad-infinitum.org 

Based on extensive interviews and using an intergenerational ensemble and a capella singing, Ad Infinitum’s new show explores the deeply human and real-life stories of older people’s care in all its complexities in the company’s signature style of physical theatre. The care system in the UK today remains under-resourced, resulting in older people, their families and carers struggling to approach end of life care with dignity; If You Fall aims to highlight the real people this affects. Through the characterization of Margaret and Norson, the show paints a vibrant and humorous picture of the lives they have lived and the richness of their world. The ensemble’s a cappella vocals and physical movement evokes the disorientation and the relentless feeling of inevitability that comes with end-of-life, allowing the audience to reflect on a care system that is breaking at the seams.

Before and during the pandemic, Ad Infinitum conducted extensive research and interviews with care providers and care users in Bristol and the UK to produce a two-season podcast, Home from Home: Journeys into Care for Older Adults, available online hereIf You Fall is a continuation of their exploration of how we look after our older adults.

Margaret is a pillar of her local community. Norson is a brilliant cook. He loves cricket and fishing. She loves singing and her lavender plants. They’re both surrounded by loving families. Their lives are full… So what happens when you lose your independence, your voice, your mind – the essence of what makes you, you?

Director Helena Middleton said “I couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with Ad Infinitum, a company whose work I’ve admired for many years. It means so much to be directing a show about a subject that affects people across all areas of society”.

Ad Infinitum is a multi-award-winning, internationally acclaimed theatre company. They collaborate to tell stories, play and disrupt. They work with artists, activists and communities to create transformative theatre, revolutionise audiences and change the world. Founded in 2007, Ad Infinitum is based in Bristol and works internationally. Ad Infinitum is proud to be Associate Artist at Bristol Old Vic and The North Wall, and a member of the Cultural Governance Alliance (CGA).

Helena Middleton is an award-winning theatre and film director and founding member of The Wardrobe Ensemble, a theatre company committed to making devised, ensemble-based theatre. She has dedicated the past 12 years to making theatre for all ages with a particular focus on devised work and new writing. Helena’s theatre directing credits include, Mog the Forgetful Cat (Royal and Derngate, The Old Vic), Robin Hood: Legend of the Forgotten Forest (Bristol Old Vic), Education, Education, Education (Royal and Derngate, Trafalgar Studios, winner of The Stage Award for Acting Excellence), The Star Seekers (National Theatre) and Pippi Longstocking (Royal and Derngate). She has also worked as dramaturg, associate and assistant director on various productions, including Hey Duggee (Olivier Award nominated), The Live Theatre Show (Royal Festival Hall), and Witness for the Prosecution.

Running Time: 75 mins | Suitable for ages 12+    BSL-integrated and captioned performances available at Bristol Old Vic, The North Wall, HOME Manchester and Northern Stage

Company information:

Directed by Helena Middleton Conceived and Original Direction by Nir Paldi. 

Set and costume design by Katie Sykes Lighting design by Ali Hunter. Sound design and composed by Jack Drewry. Movement direction by Deb Pugh. Production manager Gemma Brooks. Assistant directed by Grace Dobson. Devising input from Jonathan Hawkins.  BSL Interpreter Amy Astley.  BSL Consultant David Ellington

Devising Company and Cast:

Clive Duncan, Elisabeth Gunawan, Jabari Ngozi, Kirris Riviere, Heather Williams and Robin Paley Yorke

5 – 15 April – Bristol Old Vic, Bristol, King Street, Bristol, BS1 4ED

Tues – Fri 8pm, Sat 3pm & 8pm | £12 – £8

13 & 15 Apr (3pm) BSL-integrated and captioned performances.

bristololdvic.org.uk | 0117 987 7877










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