We spoke to Helena Middleton, director of Ad Infintum‘s If You Fall, about the show, its themes and the rehearsal process. 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 and a capella singing
Tell us a bit about the show
The show is about older adult care; both the people who require it and the people who deliver it. So many of us have experienced a loved one getting older and struggling with their health, this show is the beginning of a conversation about our society’s attitude towards older adult care and the overburdened system itself. It is a celebration of the full, vibrant lives of those who end up in the older adult care system, and a reminder that there’s so much more we can do as a society to serve people in their latter years.
How have you found working with an intergenerational ensemble in the rehearsal room?
It’s been totally wonderful. The rich and varied life experiences of everyone in the ensemble has hugely informed the content of the show. Having such a wealth of experience and talent in the room has made the rehearsal process so creatively exciting.
What would you like the audience to take away from If You Fall?
What I would really love is for audiences to feel able to turn to those they’ve come to the show with, or even people they don’t know, and have a conversation about their own experiences of care and loss. I hope the show gently removes some of the barriers that make talking about the subject so challenging.
Do you feel like the ideas explored through the show are spoken about enough in real life?
In short, no. I think that talking about the end of our lives, and the loss of older loved ones, can be incredibly challenging in our society. If we were a little more able to express our feelings around the subject we might be able to push towards a society which funnels more resources into older adult care.
What’s next for you after the tour?
After tour I am taking my show, Mog the Forgetful Cat, to the Old Vic in London and to the Edinburgh Fringe. As well as preparing to direct new shows in early 2024.
If You Fall heads on tour from the 5th April – 14th June 2023. More information and how to book tickets here: https://ad-infinitum.org/if-you-fall
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