Aquarius Productions @ Uni Cinema
5:30pm, Wed 10 Mar 2004
Short Review: Lacking consistent power
Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down tells the story of three women in a small town. Essentially three solo pieces (the characters don’t meet until the final few minutes of the play), the characters of Jodie, Lynette and Ruby share the stage, the “inactive” characters mute whilst the active character addresses the audience. The only commonality between the women: the brutal, misogynistic, overbearing bully, Royce. Murderer, husband, lover to the women, his actions eventually draw the three together.
The first act sees 10-year-old Jodie witnessing her boyfriend die due to Royce’s bullying. Four years her senior, Lynette recounts how her father was responsible for a similar act. 18-year-old Ruby is pregnant with Royce’s child. Act two, set eight years later, sees situations change: Lynette has stumbled into marriage with Royce, Ruby has a string of broken relationships and a 7-year-old child, and Jodie has blocked the death of her boyfriend from her mind. Slowly, through Lynette, Royce’s brutality becomes more apparent – and the play tumbles towards a somewhat predictable climax.
Jodie is played with a sheer youthful exuberance, and the frail Lynette is played to perfection. But the show didn’t gel into something decent for me until the final fade-out – the furtive, scared glances between the three women speaks greater volumes than the previous hour.