THEATRE REVIEW: When the Rain Stops Falling ★★★

When The Rain Stops Falling 
Irving Studio Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
Wednesday 2nd October 2019

Evidence from previous productions prove that The Everyman Theatre has a hidden gem tucked away in the form of The Irving Studio; constantly changing its formation to suit and suprise the audience as they take their seats, it has been home to some of the most powerful and thought-provoking pieces of theatre seen in the theatre alone due to the intensity of the proximity and atmosphere. Sadly, this is fundamentally where 'The Rain Stops Falling', presented by Red Dog Company hinder themselves, with a large ensemble and unnecessary scenery making for a claustrophobic performance.

Written by Andrew Bovell, the story revolves around different generations throughout the decades, expanding from 1959 - 2039, and how certain items can spark a journey of infidelity, molestation, love and heartbreak. Presented by the company, within the first monologue which opens the show from Paul Ansdell, the time spent looking towards the floor when the magic of having the audience right at your feet is disheartening and makes you disconnect instantly, until you realise it's just part of the character.

As the production rewinds and Ansdell transforms into Herny, a more respectable and clean man, married to Elizabeth (Elizabeth Crarer), he embodies the character with such skill. Crarer does delivers a rather startling performance as Younger Elizabeth in one particular scene late into the production which is toned nicely with huge amounts of emotion and rage within the characteristics and voice. Ged McKenna and Frances Churchill are undeniably beautiful in the roles of Joe and Older Gabrielle, as Alzheimer's slowly creeps in and tears the two away; in the brief moments of recollection, Churchill warms the soul and brings a smile, but it's McKenna who pacts the punch when his partner is slowly being taken away from him.

Director Fi Ross, a regular at The Everyman due to her work with The University of Gloucestershire, seemingly had a very clear vision of how she wanted to portray this story, but sadly does little to adapt to the space given within the studio. Looking through promotional videos, the production has seemed to suit larger spaces, evidentially considering the awkward angles which Simon Ryder's Video Design is projected onto using four stage flats. It's deeply disjointed and often distracting from the piece; Coorong 1988 in particular was a particular one for the


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