Above – Brian Meegan as Reece and Sophie Hensser as Jacqui. Featured – Eric Beecroft as Robin and Sophie Hensser as Jacqui in James Graham’s A HISTORY OF FALLING THINGS. Pics by Phil Erbacher. 

It is possible, in this era of ever-changing and dynamic technological development, to meet someone on the internet via web cam and Skype, develop a relationship and fall in love without ever having met in person.  Does there come a time when a two-dimensional screen is just not enough?

Award-winning Welsh playwright and film and television writer, James Graham, explores a love story that begins with Robin and Jacqui, two young people who happen to meet online but because of a phobia they share, cannot leave their respective homes.  Graham’s 2009 play ‘A HISTORY OF FALLING THINGS’ is an entertaining and well-crafted play, succinctly and sensitively directed by Nicole Buffoni.

The play is essentially romantic and funny but never allows us to forget the underlying, debilitating phobia that Robin and Jacqui desperately try to overcome.

Keraunothnetophobia, (don’t try to say it, spell it or rationalise it), is a fear of falling satellites, but manifests in our main characters as panic, isolation and terrible dreams of falling things, thus preventing them from leaving the house.  Robin has always been like this, Jacqui since the 7/7 bombings in London, when she was trapped on the tube.

There are so many warm and loving moments in their internet interplay, which become even more chaotic when they begin to use a courier, Jimmy, (played with vivacious energy by Sam O’Sullivan), to deliver love tokens to each other, culminating in a romantic dinner cooked by Robin.  As they only live 5 minutes apart, Jimmy sets both tables for their candlelit cyber rendezvous.

Graham cleverly intertwines the scenes of love and despair with the appearances of Robin’s chatty and nervous mother, Lesley,  (played beautifully by Merridy Eastman), and Jacqui’s loving and gentle father (played with great humour and sensitivity by Brian Meegan).  These scenes bring tenderness and comic relief.

The set design by Anna Gardiner and the lighting by Christopher Page are efficient and adaptable.  They compliment the fantastic animation projection by AV designer Tim Hope, which mirrors Robin’s childrens’ books writing skills and represents all things falling from the sky such as frogs and rain.

Eric Beecroft brings energy and charisma to the role of Robin and Sophie Hensser as Jacqui has a tender vulnerability which compliments her sense of fun.

A HISTORY OF FALLING THINGS is a heart-warming and enjoyable play which is definitely worth seeing.  It plays at the Ensemble Theatre until Saturday 20th August.