“Impossible not to love”

The Straits Times

Synopsis

Tami and Bill are ordinary parents doing their best to bring up their two teenage kids - Lisa, 16, full of attitude and angst; and Josh, who demands extraordinary attention, because he's an 18-year-old boy with severe autism. Family life is a precarious balancing act revolving around Josh, his routines, his obsessions, and the rigid set of rules that have been created for them to get through each day.

When this delicate balance is shattered, it literally becomes a matter of life and death for this family.

An electrifying and enlightening family drama, Falling examines the meaning of unconditional love, and dares to ask: “How do you love someone who is difficult to love?”



Post Show Dialogue

Autism is a condition that can affect up to 1 in every 100 people. Being a neurological condition, no two people with autism are alike. If you know a person with autism, you really only know one tiny aspect of it.

We welcome you to explore this multifaceted condition at our post show dialogues, where caregivers and experts at the forefront of the support for autism will share their experience, anecdotes and knowledge.

Please click here for our list of speakers.

We would like to thank Autism Resource Centre, AWWA, Autism Association, Share the Care, St Andrews Autism Centre and Rainbow Centre, A Mother’s Wish and all our caregiver volunteers for making this post show dialogue a reality.

For more on A Mother’s Wish and other inspiring social enterprises visit Asia For Good By DBS Foundation on www.asiaforgood.com


Credits

Written by
Deanna Jent

Directed by
Tracie Pang

Starring
Neo Swee Lin
Adrian Pang
Tan Kheng Hua
Andrew Marko
Fiona Lim


Reviews

  • “IMPOSSIBLE TO NOT LOVE…Pangdemonium has perfected the neat balance act of presenting theatre which entertains and also educates…Falling is yet another winner…Amid a stellar cast, directed by Tracie Pang, Andrew Marko shines, and rightfully so…a must-watch”
    — Akshita Nanda, ST Life
  • “Pangdemonium’s heart-wrenching play FALLING…there’s no way your eyes will stay dry for this one…Tracie Pang constructs a drum-tight drama…a beautifully realistic set by Wong Chee Wai and Chris Chua; James Tan’s lighting and Gu Ningru’s sound design complete the everyday illusion. If, like most theatre-lovers, you have a soft spot for great acting, FALLING will keep your eyes riveted. Tan Kheng Hua is extraordinary in her demanding role as a beleaguered mother. Several times during the play, her face is soaked in hot tears. Equally moving is Adrian Pang as the father torn between loving his son and worrying if the toll of raising him is too great on his marriage and his teenage daughter. Young Andrew Marko is quite remarkable in his portrayal of the autistic son - the speech difficulties, facial expressions, motions and gestures common to severe autism have been meticulously adapted into his characterisation of Josh. It is a fully committed turn…Every performance of FALLING is also followed by a live discussion. It is an impressive effort by Pangdemonium and the guest speakers to shed light on a fairly common but poorly understood disorder.”
    — Helmi Yusof, Business Times
  • “Director Tracie Pang calibrates the emotional temperature to perfection, keeping the action lived-in and avoiding sentimentality or theatrics...Andrew Marko gives a standout performance, a tour de force of character acting…Tan Kheng Hua is the beating heart of the show, and her nuanced performance of a quietly resilient mother will have one biting back tears…Much of what makes Falling so powerful is its authenticity. The play also translates effortlessly to a Singapore setting, reminding us that autism is very much a universal problem…the production is rounded out by Wong Chee Wai and Chris Chua’s stunningly recreated apartment set and James Tan’s beautiful lighting. It is important to recognize Pangdemonium’s outreach efforts to members of the autistic community and engaging post-show talks.”
    — Naeem Kapadia, TODAY

Power to the People

  • “This is really life-changing theatre. Falling is enlightening, heartbreakingly beautiful, emotional, unforgettable and exceptional. I am thankful that Pangdemonium has brought this unseen world to the stage in Singapore. Kudos to director Tracie Pang’s wonderful direction and the stellar cast for a powerful emotive performance. I walked away realising my mothering struggles were minute in comparison with what some others face, and went home loving my son more.”
    — Audrey @ SAys Happy Mums
  • “We have heard so much talk about how artists want to use their art to touch the masses and to raise awareness on important social issues. I have not felt this - not till tonight. FALLING by Pangdemonium gripped me, drew me into the story, made me cry with many in the audience, and more importantly, made me more aware and empathetic to the struggles faced by caregivers of special needs individuals. I can’t recommend this show enough.”
    — Yingyun Jace
  • “We watched the play last night with our teenage daughter. We have a 13 year-old boy with autism. It was such an emotional and moving experience for the three of us, as if we were seeing a day in our life being played out on stage. Thank you for harnessing the power of theatre to reach out to a larger audience beyond the ASD community. Thank you for putting your heart and soul into telling this beautiful story about unconditional love and the torment, pain and struggles, and hope it brings.”
    — Leong Tscheng Yee
  • “I am immensely humbled by the brilliant performance by the cast and I really respect the directorial work done by the wonderful Tracie Pang. The subtlety with which they showed the normal, everyday struggles of a family with an autistic family member was nothing short of powerful. It’s a play that will make you laugh, chuckle, cry. It’s a play that will make you want to get talking. It’s a play that will make you want to do your part. I want to do what I can to make this world a better place and it starts with raising awareness. Let’s take action, guys.”
    — Shrey Bhargava
  • “I do not have an 18-year-old son with autism but Pangdemonium’s FALLING gave me a glimpse into the frustrations and dilemmas, and the unconditional love needed to navigate through this. Adrian Pang and Tan Kheng Hua were so convincing I cried my eyeballs out. We had a post-show dialogue and so many questions were raised from the audience. What a meaningful way to engage the public on the issue of adult autism and to raise awareness. Adrian and Tracie Pang, I respect you for the work you do. This is a story that needed to be told, and you told it brilliantly. Bravo!”
    — Pamela Ho
  • “Falling is a must-watch for those who wonder what goes on behind the doors of families coping with autism. It will open your eyes beyond what you think you know. Watching Falling evoked a deep sense of familiarity for me as a caregiver. Yet Falling is not a dark play. The cast brilliantly manages to help you laugh even as you are trying to digest the dire circumstances. I would like to thank director Tracie Pang, the cast, and everyone in Pangdemonium for helping us broach this almost taboo subject and I pray that such awareness will move people into asking "How can I help?””
    — Friends of ASD Families
  • “So real, so human, so many feelings to deal with. This is really a story of love. Brilliant direction by Tracie Pang, and stellar performance by the cast. Really thankful for a theatre company like Pangdemonium, hope they continue to bring plays that touch the heart, enlighten, inspire, educate, and better society as a whole just as they have made me believe art and theatre can. This is the real season of love.”
    — Shawna
  • “This is probably the most honest, brutal, unrelenting yet poignant examination of how families cope with having a child with autism. It was funny at times, heartwrenching at others, and beneath it was the very real pain of loving someone who is difficult to love, but whom you cannot give up on because that is just how love is. I was crying non-stop, it was that good. And the post-show dialogue was very enlightening. Awesome. Pangdemonium never disappoints, kudos to brilliant director Tracie Pang and her cast for a very sensitive and real depiction of a family’s struggle to love.”
    — samhiddleston
  • “Pangdemonium did their name company justice - the pang of emotions you feel after the whole thing. Left the theatre with my heart aching and my mind racing. I’m really glad that this has raised much awareness about the realm of autism and also allowed the public a peek into the struggles of caregivers and families. Love how they displayed not only the love they have for their child, but also the angst, fear and fatigue that are all so, so real. Wonderful direction by Tracie Pang and stellar performance by the cast, in particular Andrew Marko. Yet another amazing production by Pangdemonium. ”
    — Joyce Seah
  • “Shitty as f*** day, redeemed by one of the best plays I have ever watched. Sat through the entire play fighting to hold back my tears. Extremely talented local cast telling a story of a family’s struggle in taking care of their autistic child. Still recovering from the emotional rollercoaster but truly one of the best theatre experiences yet. Pangdemonium, I can’t thank you enough for staging such a great play. My bad day has been redeemed.”
    — Estella Koh