Edinburgh Fringe
And Southwold Arts Festival

After writing about her loss Janet began to realise that this was a journey that she could share with others - and so with director Ralph Bogard it was, over two years, developed into a performance piece. As an original and debut production it was presented at many venues both in the UK and overseas.

“Weaving together both spoken word and storytelling this bold, original piece written and performed by TV and radio broadcaster Janet Gershlick developed and directed by Ralph Bogard (@RalphBogard) is a unique theatrical experience that will make you cry, smile and understand a little more”

Arts Fest

Presenting at Edinburgh Fringe was a highlight of these tours.

Janet says: ‘It was just an exciting place to be - with so much talent, creativity and energy all crammed into a frantic few weeks. It was also exhausting. I had never visited Edinburgh before and it was delightful - despite raining quite a lot (most days!!) even in late August.'

I chose a tiny venue - one of the theatres at theSpace@Surgeons’ Hall - because I wanted that close connection with the audience and it was very well received. I am not sure there wasn’t a performance that went by without someone from the audience coming to give me a hug or me going to sit quietly next to someone at the end of the performance who had been emotionally affected by ‘When The Sky Falls In’.

Each performance was a little different from the last since I performed and ad libbed around just one prop - an armchair. It represented my mum’s chair, the chair in the doctor’s surgery, a chair in a cafe where people would ask why I was crying and where I sat to think about an unopened envelope.

When The Sky Falls In’ continued to tour successfully all over the world and the response of the audience was often overwhelming. Many often wanted to talk after the performance - to discuss, share or just to say ‘Thank you’.


‘A poignantly personal testimony. Janet wears her heart on her sleeve’.
Richard Beck for ‘Broadway Baby’
Edinburgh Fringe Festival

We came to your production today and just want to say how truly moving it was. I was so choked that I wasn't able to come and chat to you afterwards. You are an exceptional storyteller and have given me lots to think about. Your mum and stepdad were blessed to have you in their lives. I hope you will return to Edinburgh and share more inspiration and hope. Thank you.
Jill Adelman

‘The audience sat - silenced by the beauty of Janet’s words and a haven of spoken word occurred. The rapturous applause said it all. We have all experienced loss and we understood. A truly beautiful moment’.
Ray Morgan: Director Village Green Festival of Arts


‘One of the most moving and genuine accounts of loss I have ever heard’
Jo Silverstein

Thank you for such an emotional, meaningful and uplifting presentation. It meant a great deal to me’.
Harry Rosen


'When the Sky Falls In' was performed in a small & intimate Theatre (The London Theatre Workshop). It catches you off guard & before you know it, you give it permission to reach right in and push all your emotional buttons and knobs, some that you didn’t even realise were there. One minute I was to laugh hysterically & moments later unable to stop from crying.
'When The Sky Falls In' was beautifully written - and performed.
Delicious. Food for the soul....
Lynn Parsons

Janet at Southwold Arts Festival

Southwold Arts Festival

The setting for this one woman play was the upstairs drawing room of the Swan Hotel in Southwold, England (as part of the Southwold Arts Festival) which was a perfect place for this very personal account of Janet's loss of her mum. Janet takes her audience on a very human journey - the all consuming grief of death and the loss of a loved one. It is her journey but it resonates for us all and sharing an experience so intimate and close to her heart was deeply moving but never sentimental.  Everything is simple and sparse. There are a few props - an armchair, a toy cat, a purple rug that kept her mum warm and some photographs on the wall. Things that in everyday life are hardly noticed but in death become sacred and a direct link to the person who has died. We are taken step by step through her experience and given a picture of both the mental and physical space of her sadness, the' under the duvet' state of mind, senses numbed and empty rooms that were once full of life and that now echo of what was. The getting through the experience of grief and loss is so much part of being human and this personal story condenses that experience. Janet throws it out to the audience with all its rawness and we cry and laugh with her, a turmoil of emotion - but gradually as Janet crawls up from the depths and finds air, light, smiles and something to hold on to we are there with her. Life if loved goes on giving us little daily miracles and the unopened envelope for me was the feeling of hope returning.

What a wonderful tribute to a treasured Mum.

'When The Sky Falls In'

'Southwold. A Place to Love'

If you should decide to buy both books together you can do so below and a discount will be applied.

Buy both
'Southwold. A Place to Love'
'When The Sky Falls In'


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