REVIEW: Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down, Lantern Theatre

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THREE women sit on park swings, waiting to tell their stories.

They are ordinary women living in a South Yorkshire town whose lives have been shattered by the violence of Royce, a man the audience never sees.

They don’t know each other but, through their monologues, it becomes apparent just how intertwined their lives are.

Gradually a story is pieced together that will have a dramatic ending involving all three.

The revival of Richard Cameron’s one-act play is very cleverly staged by new Lantern Theatre artistic director Ruth Carney. The pacing of the action is excellent.

The set makes great use of the tiny stage and, when Samantha Robinson jumps off a swing, she is just inches away from landing 
right in the auditorium.

It is unfair to single out any of the three actresses – the others are Carla Harrison Hodge and Laura Hobson – who all pull the audience into their stories, never letting our attention waver for a moment.

Samantha brilliantly mimes being abused by Royce, her abusive husband, who pushes her head into his dinner because he imagines she had put bleach in it.

Carla excellently portrays a frightened child who witnesses a terrible death that hangs over her adult life.

Laura wins sympathy as a pregnant teenager who as a single mum is determined to keep Royce, who is his dad, away from her son.

Gripping and heartwrenching.