United Fall

a tribute to all the weird kids left on the sidelines


★★★★ "...powerful and ground-breaking...breathtakingly vivid...Emma Martin’s stunningly designed and choreographed show...brilliantly played and danced by Kévin Coquelard" (The Scotsman)

More reviews here and here

Using the metaphor of a bird, and its perceived freedom, the piece burrows inside the chaotic and vivid inner world of someone who doesn’t fit in. Through a child’s eyes and combining dance, sound and objects, Birdboy is a journey through a frenzied and sometimes beautiful landscape of fear, isolation, fantasy and letting go, performed by dancer Kévin Coquelard.
Birdboy is the first work that Emma has made for both young and adult audiences. 8+

To book Birdboy contact Emma + Pádraig:  info@unitedfall.com

Suitable for 8yrs + 
First performed 6-10 November 2019 
VISUAL, Carlow

Produced by United Fall.
Supported by VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art

T O U R I N G 


Young Radicals | Draíocht 18-21 September 


Baboró International Childrens Festival 14-16 Oct

Roscommon Arts Centre 19 Oct

Glór 21 Oct


Young at Art Festival | Belfast, Lyric Theatre 4-6 March

Draíocht | Blanchardstown 6 May

Imaginate | Edinburgh, Traverse 1 Theatre 12-14 May


Spring Forward, Dublin | Beckett Theatre 27 April

Festspielhaus, St. Pölten, Austria 29-30 September

Created by Emma Martin in collaboration with:
Kevin Coquelard- Performer
Orla Clogher- Visual Artist and Designer
Dunk Murphy- Sound Designer and composer
Stephen Dodd- Lighting Designer
Faolán Ó Murchú-Toner - Voice
Pádraig Heneghan- Producer
Shane O'Reilly- Dramaturge and Education consultant
Peter Jordan- Production
Fiona Keller, Sinead Cormack- Stage Manager
Susan Collins- Sound Programmer 
Luca Truffarelli- Photography and Video

We started with: 

There's nothing left...except for one human child floating in the vast emptiness, alone. 

The process that ensued was a rabbit hole of YouTube, Shaun Tan, a dead bird incident involving my cat and Kévin, dandelion seeds, and a lot of helium. 


Kévin and I refresh our memories of the process through a series of meandering WhatsApp voice messages, GIFS and questions. 


Emma: Do you remember how I proposed this show to you?

Kévin: The first idea was that it was an apocalypse and only 1 child survived, trying to go through his loneliness, and he’s trying to send messages to reach someone? And there was also an idea of trying to create friends out of the plastic that’s around him.


Kevin: What was your motivation to create this show?

Emma: My daughter Rudi. And wanting to make something that has a similar absurdity to Spongebob Squarepants and the universe of kids cartoons.


Kevin: What was the biggest challenge making this show?

Emma: The day you wrote  “What is it about?” on a post- it. Making sense out of all the ideas and understanding the character we were creating and trying to think about everything from a child’s perspective, without censoring ourselves too much. 



Emma: What part of making this show did you enjoy the most? 

Kevin: I’d say the best part was us talking a lot with eachother and especially when one of us wanted to try something, even if you weren’t sure. I remember wanting to try something, could have been a terrible idea and you were like ye let’s try even if you weren’t fully into it. It felt like we were cleaning an attic, and we weren’t just taking the furniture we needed, but we wanted to go through everything in there and really empty it out, use all the ideas and thoughts. I think that’s what I liked the most, we gave everything a chance. 


Kevin: What do you hope remains in people’s minds after seeing the show?

Emma: Lady Gaga’s voice….? Also once we knew a bit more  about the character that we were creating I wanted to really dig into this idea about not fitting in, and learning to know yourself and feel ok in your skin. 



Emma: Describe what it’s like performing this show in three words

Kevin: Therapeutic …Crazy…. Dream


Emma: Does it feel different to perform for an adult audience and a child audience?

Kevin: Yes definitely! Because kids don’t have this social filter that adults have…it was a big challenge, you’d probably say the same about the biggest challenge in making the show. The fact that the show is made for children, but not in a conventional way, as it’s quite dark, with a lot of layers of understanding and it’s not just for children, so I thought that was a really challenging thing to create and perform. When it’s only an adult audience I’m not restricted in any way, but considering kids I didn’t want to scare them by going too far with certain things. 



Emma: What is Birdboy about?

Kevin: For me there’s lots of different layers. But the one which came out really clear for me is one of loneliness, how easy it is to retreat from others, also how exhausting it becomes by the end. I think there’s something about having to work on accepting yourself before being able to reconnect with others….is that too cheesy Emma Martin?