Claire Dowie's When I Fall If I Fall

Theatre (physical theatre)

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  • Accessibility: May not apply to all performances. You'll find more information about accessibile performances and how to book tickets in the accessibility tab below.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 2 years


Leaping barriers of age, sexuality and gender, Gloria prepares to dance the can-can one last time. When I Fall If I Fall tells Gloria's story about growing up feeling different and not fitting in... With this new work, Dowie continues her ground-breaking subversion of gender expectations and stereotypes. 'A performer at the top of her game, she is more than comfortable on stage, challenging, cajoling, teasing and befriending her audience under the expert direction of Colin Watkeys' (Edinburgh Evening News on Why Is John Lennon Wearing a Skirt?).

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General venue access

  • Accessible entry: Once in the courtyard, follow access ramp around the front of the made in Adelaide bar, into the main reception, take a right down the corridor past the cafe and through the light-saber corridor. The Red Lecture Theatre (x) – 14 steps down to the space, a further 10 steps through the seating and onto the stage. There is lift access only with prior notice to Summerhall Management.
  • Wheelchair access type: Building Lift

  • Stairs: 11- 20
    Number of stairs is provided as guidance and is not in addition to any wheelchair access type (lift/ramp etc) stated above.

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

Sharon Witton 112 days ago

Groundbreaking and challenging. This timely show, with superb writing and delivery- portrays with remarkable honesty- the dying phase of life. This unnamed taboo is smashed with this direct portrayal of a period of time that we will mostly experience, yet often dare not consider. I would recommend anyone who wants to challenge their own taboos about death and dying... to see this amazing play.

Sean Davis 118 days ago

Claire Dowie's When I Fall If I Fall (***)
The lesbian activist plays an old cancan dancer reliving her life while dealing with Alzheimer’s. Though she portrays well both the physical and mental infirmities of age, the play suffers from the concomitant repetition. The story has uplifting moments, but seems thin.

This was the 88th most enjoyable of the 113 Fringe shows I have seen so far this year. You may see my other three-sentence reviews, in order from most enjoyable to worst, at my non-commercial website:

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The F Word 111 days ago

Dowie gives a committed and often heart-breaking performance as Gloria and her final triumphant can-can demonstrates that everyone, no matter their age, has something to offer.

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The Scotsman (3/5 stars) 114 days ago

Ever since the appearance of her first play Adult Child/Dead Child, more than 30 years ago, Claire Dowie has been something of a legend in the world of theatre. ...

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The Wee Review (3/5 stars) 116 days ago

Gloria wants to perform one last can-can. She was a dancer when she was younger. When she danced, she felt truly alive. But rather than the polished show ponies she competed with at auditions, she was a donkey with long bony limbs and a long bony face. Never quite fitting...

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British Theatre Guide (3/5 stars) 126 days ago

In When I Fall If I Fall, Claire Dowie offers us a look into the life of a can-can dancer at the door of retirement. “There are still bits I can do.” She travelled around the world, doing the can-can and showing her knickers. "That was the best time" "No,...

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The Stage [paywall] (3/5 stars) 129 days ago

There are three indistinct figures projected on to a wall and as Offenbach’s Orpheus pipes up, they begin to can-can. As the lights dim, we realise that one of them is less nimble that the others. The swirl of the skirt less frenzied and the kicks less high. On stage,...

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.