Simon Stephens (born in 1971) is one of Britain’s most prolific and distinguished playwrights. Since the late 1990s, his plays and adaptations have been staged in English-speaking countries as well as in Europe, most notably in Germany. He has worked with many major European directors. In terms of form and content, his plays are very versatile, ranging from ‘dirty realism’ as well as poetic or post-dramatic fragmentation; politically committed or purely intimate. They are genre-fluid and open to different performative interpretations.
The first staging of any of his plays in Croatia is directed by Janusz Kica, whose sensibility is a perfect match for the style of the play.
Cruel and tender, Light Falls is a portrait of a dysfunctional family scattered across the north of England. It is also a profound meditation on the meaning of life which strikes one most compellingly in the proximity of death. The action of the play is governed by the inner dialogue of a woman in her fifties, at the point when she suddenly dies of a stroke; it is a moment that slips out of the temporal sequence and connects the situations involving her two daughters, son and husband. In this dislocated moment, she is given a chance to confront them and to say what has been left unspoken and unfinished. The elliptical, parallel scenes and dialogues bring forth detailed psychological profiles, piercing into the very core of the intergenerational trauma. They play is characterized by acerbic humour and courageous hope for healing, without the slightest corniness or superfluous words.
Light Falls is light that illuminates, and the light fades out.
Lada Kaštelan, dramaturg
The play opened on 7 November 2022 at the Zagreb Youth Theatre.