The Inevitable Quiet of the Crash

Wed 2nd – Mon 28th August 2017


Chloe Moloney

at 09:38 on 8th Aug 2017



‘The Inevitable Quiet of the Crash’ is a heart-wrenching musical revolving around three women’s experiences with the loss of a man killed in a train accident. Alex’s tragic death is the impetus behind these women’s turmoil - a tumultuous journey of grief, love and loss.

Sally, Anne and Julia shed light on various stages and reactions to grief, in a nuanced and refined manner. Whether it was cradling Alex’s coat, woefully reminiscing on his infancy, or a bursting display of anger these three women delivered a punchy and tear-jerking performance. Julia (Alex’s mother) quiets her feverish loss in booze, Sally has a shocking and startling discovery and Anne reflects on her brief dating of the young man – all executed with precision and emotional clarity.

There was certainly nothing quiet about this crash. In such an intimate venue, the three live musicians provided a striking and dulcet soundtrack, with a cellist and a drummer whose talents are impeccable. The scene in which Alex (whom we never actually meet) dies packs a particular punch. With dimmed lights and the drumming heartbeat of the trains the pace builds up to a shattering climax, where all that remains is the solo chugging of London transport. With the sentiment that life ‘outside the flat’ carries on as normal, the droning beats remind us not only of Alex’s continuing heartbeat effect on the women, but that the world keeps on spinning despite the tragedy. In spite of the excellency in the music, during some scenes the drumming drowned out the words of the actresses on stage. Where the message was lost, toning the music down by degrees would have done the play justice.

All three women express their qualms about living in the metropolitan heartbeat of London. Fuelled by turbulent and crashing waves of feelings, the city is painted as a dark and malicious place where terrible things appear by the bucketful. The girls often dream of living elsewhere, where life could have been different and far less fractured. The actresses’ voices do not fall short of perfect. Whilst still delivering on the emotional complexities of ‘The Inevitable Quiet of the Crash’, their singing travels across the space and swells the room with tender passion. The musical numbers do not detract from the heavy and serious tone of the production, and the cohesive dynamic of the three performers ties together the transitions between songs fittingly. If you want a show that will strike at the core of you and leave you valuing your days that little bit more, then ‘The Inevitable Quiet of the Crash’ is for you.


Darcy Rollins

at 10:55 on 8th Aug 2017



From the beginning, I knew that I would have to resist the urge to describe all its comprising elements as beautiful. ‘The Inevitable Quiet of the Crash’ is about the isolation of three women in cold and suffocating London whose isolation is intensified and complicated by their mutual grief over Alex. As the voices of the three talented individuals soared and intersected against a piano playing softly and a shimmer of cymbal, I had the strong sense that this performance will linger in my mind days after it’s ended.

Aside from the stunning voices and music blending and contrasting perfectly, the first thing I noticed was the lyrics. “She drowns in his company long after dark” and “the silence that comes between the clinking of glasses” are each examples of the gently poetic nature of the words. Unsurprisingly, the lyricist (Katie Hale) writes poetry. The singing is equally gentle, shimmering softly as is the violin, piano and drum players’ pieces. These elements rapidly evoke an atmosphere of wistful melancholy that twists to lonely grief; an atmosphere that permeates this intimate venue. The audience float in the sublime harmonies, overlapping voices, as these dark emotions somehow led to a stunning ambience. The clamour of the death scene (a definite highlight) with deafening drums is effective, breaking sharply with the previous action.

With ‘loneliness in the city’, ‘a relationship between a young woman and an older man’ and ‘an American looking for her big break in London’, the show could have strayed into cliche, instead it mainly skirted around it. Though, sadly, the American fiancee Sally, played by Amelia Gabriel, was not as nuanced and rich a character as the other two. In the case of the young woman Anna, both the writing of Hale and the Emilie Finch’s acting infuses her with such anguish and anger that it was impossible for me to see her as anything approaching a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Alex is clearly a fix, a distraction for isolating, disappointing London. It is to the show’s credit, and greatly Finch’s frenetic energy, that this point is clear. Julia, Alex’s mother, denies the reality of her grief, living in a different time of her cabaret days, drowning it with alcohol and sex. Ellen Timothy plays Julia with an easy sophistication and a stiller sort of grief that eventually cracks. All three actresses sing beautifully, but Timothy’s voice has a beautiful tone to hers that was to bring out her character’s deep sadness. Sally grieved angrily, which Gabriel portrayed boldly in movement and words. The entire cast used their bodies skilfully and consistently to convey the nervous energy of youth, jaded glamour and anger and betrayal.

It must be highlighted that the show treats loneliness and grief as the deeply upsetting, complicated phenomena they are. Grief is presented in its multitudes while isolation permeates it all. That not one character has a conversation with anyone of significance in person is so effective. I like to say, regarding the 4/5 star debacle, a 5 star should shout to you that it is just that, you will know when you’ve just experienced a 5 star play. It should make you feel or think a lot. It should invigorate you. After ‘The Inevitable Quiet’ I felt both moved and brimming with thoughts about it.


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