Written by Mark O’Rowe

Directed by Kate Nelson

Citizens, Glasgow | Traverse, Edinburgh

Sept – Oct 2005

“Keep we three sheltered,

shielded in our union

from catastrophe approaching,


encroaching upon us in this insidious vicinity,

this savage quarter,

this perpetual crestfall.”

Enter a world so familiar yet strangely unreal. A world that exists on the margins of normal. In this dark and frightening place three women live through six nightmarish hours, through a day to end all days.


Crestfall premiered at The Gate in Dublin in 2003 to great critical acclaim. Nutshell’s production was its UK premiere.

Olive, Alison and Tilly’s stories are set in a place of darkness that seems to subvert all notions of reality. O’Rowe insists however that the play offers us a gleam of light at the end of a dark night of the soul.

Director Kate Nelson had admired Mark’s previous work. When she came upon Crestfall she was struck both by its themes and the fact that it offered three young women very meaty roles to play - an exciting and rare opportunity.

Cast & Crew

Mary Gapinski – Tilly

Laura Smales – Alison

Helen McAlpine – Olive

Designer – Lucinda Meredith

Production Manager - Laura Walshe

Lighting Designer – Neil Hobbs

Composer – Pippa Murphy

Costume Designer – Lisa Cochrane

What the Press Said

If ever there was a play designed to demonstrate how profound and satisfying [the monologue] can be, then this triptych of them…is that show.

By putting female voices at the centre of his story and using poetry, he achieves a devastatingly eloquent critique of what a culture of violence means.

“The production is a masterpiece, featuring fine performances from Helen McAlpine, Laura Smales and Mary Gapinski.”