Fall into the depths of unconditional love with Pangdemonium's Falling

Published on 21 March 2024
By Team Catch
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If you have seen Pangdemonium's Into The Woods last year and this month’s Falling, you will understand just how remarkable Andrew Marko's versatility is. Marko’s range - from playing Jack in the former to his mastery of the profoundly autistic 18-year-old Josh in the latter, is simply breathtaking. His lead role in the play is a reprisal of the same one, also staged by Pangdemomium, in 2016.

It's been eight years since Pangdemonium’s initial run of the play written by Deanna Jent. Pair this with Marko himself now being in his thirties. It would be tempting to expect that his portrayal of Josh’s autistic characteristics might come across as slightly inauthentic, especially when some actors resort to obvious physical mannerisms as an easy option.

Mid shot of Andrew Marko and Dwayne Lau on stage
Watch Andrew Marko reprise his role as Josh in this year’s installation of Falling!

But there is little room for bluffing your way on a theatre stage, so there can be none of that simple mimicry. By recasting Marko as Josh, Pangdemonium director Tracie Pang believes that he is the perfect fit for the character. If you have seen the 2016 portrayal of Josh, it is only natural to wonder what 2024’s version looks, sounds, and feels like.

 

However, Falling is not a monologue or a one-man show. And this is where the rest of the cast come in to add a colourful mix of angst, despair, patience, and above all, tenderness to a portrayal of a complex and delicate situation.  

 

Mid shot of Dwayne Lau and Karen Tan on stage

Witness the captivating performance of Dwayne Lau and Karen Tan (left to right) as they bring this enlightening family drama to life.

Josh’s parents, Tami and Bill, played by theatre veterans Karen Tan and Dwayne Lau respectively, navigate the rollercoaster ride of raising two teenagers, Josh and Lisa (played by Rebecca Ashley Dass) - already a testing task with the neurotypical, further complicated by the visit of the teens’ grandmother (played by Lok Meng Chue) whose questionable intentions lead to the worst outcomes. 

 

Mid shot of Karen Tan and Andrew Marko on stage

Curious to see if this year's Falling will sweep up awards too? Catch it to find out!

Director Tracie Pang’s deft slices of this troubled family’s life mirror the rituals and rhythms of our own everyday - only with a slight difference. We witness how loving parents Tami and Bill prepare Josh for his day and help him cope with the mundane things which are normal yet terrifying yet normal again to him, by putting on earmuffs and counting down to the end of a noisy food blender’s cycle.

 

If Pangdemonium’s 2016 staging was good enough to win Straits Times Life Theatre Awards for Best Director, Best Actor, and Production of the Year, we believe this year’s run is right up there. 


The subject matter is also obviously important to the theatre company, and they have arranged for post-show Q&A and sharing sessions by cast members as well as speakers from organisations like SG Enable, Autism Network Singapore (which includes Autism Association (Singapore)), Autism Resource Centre (Singapore), AWWA, Rainbow Centre and St. Andrew's Autism Centre), Extraordinary People and CaringSG.


Catch Falling from 15 to 24 March at the Singtel Waterfront Theatre at Esplanade. Tickets are priced from $30. 


All images are credited to Pangdemonium. 


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