Alice Springs in the year 2039. A fish falls from the sky and lands at the feet of Gabriel York. It still smells of the sea. It's been raining for days and Gabriel knows something is wrong.
Eighty years earlier, his grandfather, Henry Law predicted that, in 2039, fish would fall from the sky heralding a great flood that would overcome the human race. When The Rain Stops Falling takes place between the worlds of these two men – between a prediction in 1959 and its outcome eighty years later. Through four generations of interconnected stories, from the claustrophobia of a small 1950s London flat to the windswept coast of South Australia and into the heart of the Australian desert, When The Rain Stops Falling follows the central journey of Gabriel Law as he retraces his father Henry's footsteps in an attempt to solve the mystery of his disappearance.
At a roadhouse in the Coorong he meets a young woman named Gabrielle. Two wounded souls in a wild landscape, their connection is instant and powerful. As the young lovers' story unfolds amidst the interweaving narratives of their ancestors and descendants we are led back to 2039... to Gabriel York as he arrives home with the fish to await the arrival of his own estranged son. A son he knows will come seeking answers. A son he knows will want to understand the past. But for Gabriel York the past is as mysterious as the fish.
The Cast: Nick Fagan, Cheryl Douglas, Rhonda Grill, Mark Healy, Casmira Hambledon, Tracey Walker, Peter Davies, Tim Williams and Lyndon Cullen-Reid.
Directed by: Geoff Brittain
Note: Occasional mild coarse language and adult themes. The play runs for just over 2 hours without an interval. Tea, coffee and wine will be available before the show starts.
The Advertiser - Review - Peter Burdon - When the Rain Stops Falling - "a masterclass on a sweeping canvas"
IT’S taken eight years for Andrew Bovell’s superb When the Rain Stops Falling to have another production in Adelaide, whence it premiered and began its long award-strewn road.
This revival, directed by Geoff Brittain for the venerable St Jude’s Players, is a masterclass in making something very fine with not very much, in the best community theatre tradition.
Bovell has painted — and the artistic metaphor is deliberate — in huge strokes on a sweeping canvas, a convoluted, interconnected tale that stretches across four generations, beginning with the mysterious disappearance of a child in post-war London, and ending in a dingy flat in Alice Springs 80 years later. This is tragedy writ large.
Director Brittain has drawn outstanding performances from his cast, especially experienced locals like Tracey Walker, Cheryl Douglas and Rhonda Grill, while relative newcomers are given ample opportunity to shine.
Bovell’s brilliant script relies on pinpoint timing, and Brittain has succeeded. The impact of the dozens of little scenes, invariably two-handers, often with other characters hovering spectre-like nearby, is cumulative.
Nothing, however, prepares you for the emotional body blows he wreaks as the tangled story unravels, and the final 20 minutes or so are as absorbing, and utterly gripping, as anything in theatre.
Running around two hours and 15 minutes, without an interval, it would normally be a long haul. Not with this production. Go and see it.