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”
Presenting at Edinburgh Fringe was a highlight
of these tours.
‘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.
‘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
SPRING STUDIO - NEW YORK
‘One of the most moving and genuine accounts of loss I have ever heard’
Thank you for such an emotional, meaningful and uplifting presentation.
It meant a great deal to me’.
LONDON THEATRE WORKSHOP
'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
'When The Sky Falls In' was beautifully written - and performed.
Delicious. Food for the soul....
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.
Buy'When The Sky Falls In'
Buy'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'and'When The Sky Falls In'