Review: A Place To Fall To Pieces at Theatre@41 Monkgate

This is an unusual piece. The publicity says: ‘ You are on an island. And it is sinking. It is not a metaphor, nor is it a dream. It is the end.’

By Angie Millard

However, an audience’s imagination cannot be controlled and as I watched, I was taken on a metaphysical trip where I examined the nature of reality. It felt like a dream which delved into the human psyche and where I encountered ancient myths and legends. 

The stage was set with rocks, old wooden boxes, sand, rope and fishing nets; the actor, Isobel Hughes moved between them negotiating the obstacles while her sister, Anna Hughes, accompanied her with musical sound effects. Anna also sang folk tunes and her pure mellifluous vocals were a perfect background.

We were told a myth of a family with identical faces whose son went away to find his fortune while they remained until his return. This was signalled by the appearance of a trainer lobbed on to the acting space by Anna, (a strange intervention I thought) but there were other more poetic sections telling us of a Devil Dog and Bird woman. The stuff of Folk Lore. The sea was an ever present force pervading the atmosphere and the question set in the publicity: ‘How can anyone bring you home?’ remained unanswered for me.

One criticism is that the sound balance occasionally overwhelmed the actor’s voice but it was nevertheless a thought-provoking evening.

A Place To Fall To Pieces was performed at Theatre@41 Monkgate on Friday 22 April 2022.