Presented By: St Judes Players
Reviewed 14 April 2016
Directed by Geoff Brittain, When the Rain Stops Falling is quite a challenge for any amateur company. Andrew Bovell’s very complex plot peels back through the generations of one family and the emotional baggage they pass down from generation to generation. It’s an interesting look at how the actions of one person can have a lasting impact on those yet to be born.
The play starts with the incredibly anxious Gabriel York who has been unable to maintain any relationships or a job and survives alone in his bedsit in Alice Springs. His estranged son is coming to visit, sending Gabriel into an absolute panic. The story then jumps back to snapshots of his parents and grandparents whose actions may well explain Gabriel’s unusual and sadly isolating behaviour.
The moving around of time presents a huge challenge and it might have been easier to understand this if the cast had used appropriate accents – the Law family are supposed to be from London. Otherwise the cast do a terrific job of pulling off this complex piece. In particular Tim Williams as Gabriel York, Casmira Hambledon as Gabrielle York, Peter Davies as Joe Ryan and Nick Fagan as Henry Law each give first-rate performances.
The set by Ole Weibkin is excellent and is well complimented by the lighting design and the costumes coordinated by Rosemary Taylor were appropriate, however much more could have been done with hair and makeup.
Originally commissioned and produced by Brink Productions, it is easy to see why When The Rain Stops Falling won a swathe of awards and critical acclaim for it’s original production in 2008. The writing is simply superb.
There are a few places where the action drags a little too slowly and the play runs almost forty-five minutes past the advertised running time, making this a very long 135 minute one act play. Still, this is a great production of a brilliant play and is well worth the effort for those who enjoy a more cerebral theatre experience.
Reviewed by Ceri Horner