22 June 2009

When the Rain Stops Falling
by Andrew Bovell

Naomi Bentley - Gabrielle York (younger)
Simon Burke - Joe Ryan
Jonathan Cullen - Henry Law
Lisa Dillon - Elizabeth Law (younger)
Richard Hope - Gabriel York
Tom Mison - Gabriel Law
Phoebe Nicholls - Elizabeth Law (older)
Leah Purcell - Gabrielle York (older)
Sargon Yelda - Andrew Price

Directed by Michael Attenborough
Designed by Miriam Buether

Seen on the post show talk night towards the end of it's UK premiere run at the Almeida in our fave side (cheaper) seats but moving to the centre for the talk.

Very powerful, timey-wimey piece from a writer with an impeccable pedigree. Deepest regret is that in my desire to do the post show talk, I had to wait so long into the run before seeing it. Time-Out Sydney describes it as a 'theatrical Rubik's Cube' and that pretty much nails it.

There are some gorgeous nuggets of info, reviews & visual treats here.
In the same way as In a Dark, Dark House left me with a desire to analyse my thoughts and test them against time, I am left turning over the events of this play, which could also be described as a series of pleasingly related vignettes, to see what I might conclude a week hence. History relates that I rarely return to my notes for revision.

The post show talk revealed more about the provenance of the piece. It was amusing to learn that despite the fact that it is currently being performed in Sydney by Cate Blanchett's company, her filming commitments in Ridley Scott's Robin Hood meant that she had to see it here in London rather than her own gaff.
The original staging had fewer actors with some roles doubling up. I can see how that would have worked and even been a good device but I had no problem with the way this was staged here.
A couple of cast didn't take part in the talk but those who were there were entertaining, articulate and passionate. The optimum combo.

A final note to say that the incapacitation of the glorious Leah Purcell which necessitated her performing with a ski-boot and crutch, in no way detracted or jarred. It seemed completely integrated.