October 23, 2013
Just over a year on from an on-stage accident, which left Conor Madden with double vision with ataxia, the actor is taking on one of his most challenging roles to date. The Fall, Ella Clarke’s kitchen-sink dance drama set in outer space, opens at the Project Arts Centre this week.
The whole thing is heavily choreographed with a few bits of virtuoso performance woven throughout,” says Madden. “There are scenes from the movie Logan’s Run and the video game Silent Hill acted out against a very dense soundscape with a complex lighting system and video interspersed as well.” Given that the accident has left him primarily with balancing issues, but also with problems with his vision, how has he found the physically demanding rehearsal process. “It’s like a form of physiotherapy, learning what this new Conor can do as opposed to what the old one could. But it’s kind of like that for everybody involved. Everybody is being pushed to see how far we can go with our bodies. Ella is more interested in working with what’s in the room and what each individual performer can bring rather than what they can’t.”
“There has been really no mind paid to it at all,” says Clarke, who as well as devising and choreographing the piece, performs in it. “We talk about it every now and then, when we are having a cup of tea. Its nice to check in on someone, see how they are doing. But I’m pregnant so we talk about that an awful lot more.”
First Published in the Sunday Independent, 1st of April 2012