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FURTHER TO FALL Jigsaw falling into place

Critically acclaimed physical theatre company The Open Lid Ensemble are back at Fringe World this year with a return season of their sell-out 2020 show Further To Fall. The original production invites audiences to delve into a world of confusion, despair and hope, following a new relationship from its seemingly perfect beginning to a thrilling conclusion. Accompanied by a dynamic live soundscape, Further to Fall runs from Tuesday, February 2 until Sunday, February 14 at The Art Room at Girls School (get more info and tickets here). BRAYDEN EDWARDS spoke to Performer and Devisor Sinead O’Hara to find out about how The Open Lid Ensemble’s team of writers, actors and musicians all played a part in bringing the emotional depth and important message of the play to life.

What was the origin of this story and how has the show evolved through performing it?

The story was inspired by personal experiences in unhealthy relationships. Through conversation we discovered how many people have had similar experiences and how important it is to discuss, support each other in self growth and be aware of the red flags that may hinder that growth. The show has evolved from being internal conversations within the company, to research into narcissistic behavioural patterns to create a more accurate story for our characters. Through the initial run and after taking on audience feedback we were able to flesh out the story even more to create something that we feel is powerful.

And what people have you got on board to bring this idea to life and how has that added to the show?

The Open Lid Ensemble have worked together for over five years and we all bring various types of experience to the company. Kat Shaw has just returned from London studying her Masters in Collaborative Theatre Making with Frantic Assembly and has brought a whole host of fresh new ideas and training tools to the table which has been fantastic. As always we’ve got Michael Biagioni on board as our composer creating an amazing soundscape and beautiful songs which are played live throughout the show. We’re lucky to work with such a talented group!

I hear there will be a “live soundscape” accompanying this show…how are you going about adding that element to the production?

It’s important to us that the musicians are onboard from the beginning of the creation process so they can start forming a palate for the sound and start generating music ideas as the show is being developed. The sound is as important to us as text and movement – it’s a key element to help tell the story and create atmosphere and enhance emotions. The music is performed live in order to adapt to the performance and evolve in real time.

What do you feel is the important message that you want audiences to take from this show?

We are hoping through the delivery of the show audience members will not only relate to the story but will be able to identify warning signs in their future relationships or in others’.

And what kind of person do you feel will enjoy a show like this the most?

Someone who has had a similar experience to that of the main character will probably enjoy the show through being able to relate and feeling heard. When we performed the show at Fringe last year we had a lovely woman speak to us after the show who had gone through a relationship with a narcissist and said she felt so connected to the show and that some of the dialogue she had experienced nearly word for word. That was pretty special. Also if people are interested in physical theatre, live music and carefully selected dialogue we think they’ll enjoy it.

What’s in the pipeline for The Open Lid Ensemble for the rest of 2021 and beyond? Can we expect to see this show again after Fringe or will that remain to be seen?

We don’t have any concrete plans yet but we’d love to tour the show regionally and nationally. We’ve got a solid idea for a new show that will push us in a bit of a direction we haven’t headed before. We’re planning to develop that in 2021, so stay tuned!

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