Falling on my knees for Fall On Your Knees

I have been heavily influenced to purchase this book after such an outstanding performance.

Fall On Your Knees was a production that took place at The Grand Theatre from March 29 to April 2. This production was based off of the book by Ann-Marie Macdonald and was divided into two parts, Part One: Family Tree, and Part Two: The Diary. After a total run time of six hours, I found myself still craving more of this infatuating story.

The book was featured as Oprah Winfrey’s book club selection during February of 2002.

“What a wild ride — I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough,” Winfrey said at the time.

Navigator. Londons student lifestyles magazine.

I had this same feeling watching the actors as they took the Spriet Stage for Part One on March 29. I didn’t even want them to stop for intermissions and became especially inpatient for me to travel back to The Grand for Part Two.

From the moment the play started at 7:30 p.m., my attention was stolen from me by the cast. With not much research on this play before attending, I had no idea the ride that I was about to get on.

The play begins with a young Lebanese girl who falls in love with someone completely outside of her culture, a Catholic gentleman who is a few years older than her and ready to name her his wife. The entirety of this play stems from this beginning. To say I was unprepared for the storyline that unfolded right in front of me, would be an understatement. Every moment of this play was a depiction of their lives.

I’m still mesmerized by the amount of thought that was put into this production. Live music featuring instruments such as the piano, the flute, a violin, and pipes, chimed in throughout the performance, taking the role of background music and as a delicate sound effect through scene changes. I loved this feature! I especially loved the repetition of the piano melody that was so pertinent in the story. This was primarily because one of the main characters played this at the beginning and every time it played after that it was almost as if I was transported to that moment.

In saying that, the backdrop consisted of thin slats of wood that was spaced enough for you to see who and what was behind it. I related this to the strings in the piano, as this instrument can be identified as symbolic significance for Fall On Your Knees.

One of my favourite features of this play was its method of introducing some of the characters. When a child was brought into the picture, the adult version would stand, and the spotlight would be on them. Deborah Hay (Frances Piper) and Jenny L. Wright (Mercedes Piper) assumed roles from babies to their old age. These actresses took my breath away. The mischievous character that Hay’s plays throughout and the balanced ‘put-together’ character that Wright plays, really added an even further sense of humor to this story.

There was so much laughter, joy, playfulness, and loving emotion in this play. Yet, there was also a darkness that consumed the audience with a contrast of emotions. Grief was only one of the many heartaches that the play demonstrated, and each act of darkness was done with such strong movement that I sympathized deeply with the characters on stage.

Four days later, it was time for Part Two, which I watched on closing night, April 2. Those days in between couldn’t have moved any slower! As Part One concluded with a bit of a cliffhanger, I was eager to know the missing piece of this story line’s puzzle.

As Part Two unraveled, shocking revelations had me sitting in disbelief. This play kept me on my toes throughout both parts. I never knew what to expect which was one of the reasons why it kept drawing me back in. Part Two consisted of very key features in this story and because of that, I wish there was more embellishment on those vital scenes.

Needless to say, I have been heavily influenced to purchase this book after such an outstanding performance. This production is one that I will most certainly not forget. I can still hear the sound of the piano melody and the angelic voices singing “Oh My Darling, Clementine” and “Ave Maria.” I have goosebumps simply writing those words.