When the Rain Stops Falling
Rain torrents from the ceramic tiles of the Sydney Opera House's iconic roofs; it's how they are kept clean. Wednesday afternoon we took shelter inside the House's theatre space for Brink Theatre's original production of When the Rain Stops Falling by Andrew Bovell.
The play (being performed simultaneously right now at London's Almeida Theatre) is gearing itself to be an Australian classic. It's powerfully performed, a sequence of monologues and duets performed by sets of actors playing the same characters from the 1950s up to the 2030s. The opening spectacle, a fish falling from the sky, establishes climate change as one theme in a narrative that traces faultlines running through characters' ancestry - like fathers like sons, though with some honest attempt to break from the cycle by the close. Clever staging sees characters onstage as ghosts of themselves, in silent attendance of scenes from their futures and past. I'm tempted to come away and psychoanalyze the play - some residual penal consciousness is at work, one character exiled from London to Australia so that his horrific criminal tendencies are exported. I can be suspicious of plays gaining easy dramatic traction by bringing in a scenario of emotional horror (in this case extreme serial child abuse).
But then this did make for vivid theatre. In discussion with the actors afterward, the audience clearly adored the experience. And the many lines about waiting for the rain to stop drew gusty laughs as we got ourselves geared to splash our ways outdoors once again.