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  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine

If You Fall heads on tour

Tour 5 April – 14 June 2023 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 here. If 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? The show starts at the Bristol Old Vic before heading to The North Wall in Oxford, The Old Courts in Wigan, HOME in Manchester, the Berkoff Studio in Weston-Super-Mare, Theatr Clwyd in Mold, the Corn Exchange in Newbury and finishes at the Northern Stage in Newcastle. 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

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