A closer look at Blackbird Theatre’s production of ‘All That Fall’

We are thrilled to welcome Blackbird Theatre back to The Cultch for the first ever Canadian production of All That Fall! The show is running from Dec 29, 2014 until January 24, 2015 at The Cultch’s Historic Theatre.

For more than 50 years, no one was able to obtain the rights to produce Samuel Beckett’s radio play for the stage. Beckett insisted that it was meant to be heard. As he said, “it is a text written to come out of the dark.” However,  in 2012 Beckett’s estate allowed theatrical staging of the script. The show premiered in London and the next year in New York. The reception was overwhelmingly enthusiastic!

Now the focus is on the Canadian premiere! After a sold out and highly praised run of Uncle Vanya in 2013, Blackbird Theatre has been given the rare opportunity to present All That Fall for the first time in Canada. Can you imagine a better way to start the new year on the right foot?

“Beckett at his most Irish and accessible”Michael Billington, The Guardian

“You’re unlikely to find a more salty or succinct embodiment of his fathomless sense of humor”Ben Brantley, New York Times

“The play reveals a different side of Beckett’s artistic personnality. Yes, it’s bleak but it also genuinely funny, with lots of jokes… There is also a mystery at the play’s heart which, as in a thriller, is only resolved at the very end”Charles Spencer, The Daily Telegraph

Check out Artistic Director’s Notes by John Wright here:

Irish playwright, novelist and poet Samuel Beckett was one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. For most of his working years he lived in Paris, writing in both English and French. Waiting for Godot (written in 1948 and first staged in 1953) brought him international acclaim. In 1969 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

All That Fall was written in 1956 and broadcast by the BBC the following year (the title comes from Psalms 145:14 – The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all thos that be bowed down). It was not a commissioned script; Beckett preferred to complete a work before accepting any obligation to submit it. He refused all requests (even from Laurence Olivier and from Ingmar Bergman) to allow stage performances of All That Fall, insisting that it was meant to be heard. “It is a text written to come out of the dark,” he said. Just recently Beckett’s estate has permitted stage productions, but only if presented as a radio play, and in 2012 and 2013 it premiered in London and New-York.

Blackbird’s production grew out of our interest in producing two of Beckett’s one act plays with Duncan Fraser and Lee Van Paassen – Krapp’s Last Tape and Rockabye – as additions to our regular season. When All That Fall became a possibility I approached Duncan (whose radio experience was extensive) about directing the play and after a preview performance in May for our supporters it became our choice for the 14/15 season.

This production of All That Fall could not have been presented without the substential support and encouragement of The Cultch. Many thanks to Heather and her staff for making possible the staging of this unique modern classic.

All That Fall runs from Dec 29, 2014 – Jan 24, 2015 in The Cultch’s Historic Theatre. Tickets from $19 and are available online, by phone at 604 251 – 1363, or in person at our box office at 1895 Venables Street.