Review: When the rain stops falling

GEORGINA STYLIANOU
Last updated 11:02 09/03/2014

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REVIEW: When The Rain Stops Falling, The Court Theatre, March 8 - 29

The past writes the future and the future tells the past in When The Rain Stops Falling.

From a 1950s London flat to the Australian desert in 2039, this incredible piece of theatre about one family spans four generations.

The story is tragic yet compelling, gut wrenching yet uplifting and the actors' storytelling is quite simply impeccable.

Renowned New Zealand actor Mark Hadlow is breathtaking. His monologues are flawless, his characters raw and rounded. Hadlow plays Henry Law, an Englishman and failed father. He also plays Gabriel York, an Australian and failed father. The similarities between the two give the play its sense of completeness yet the differences are what make it uplifting.

The script transcends time as it cleverly intertwines characters and themes. The attention to detail is sensational and recurring symbols connect the dots - fish, the weather, a hat, figures of speech - they're the same but different.

Henry Law's disappearance haunts his son Gabriel and turns his once fiery wife Elizabeth into a lonely and betrayed woman. In a desperate bid to find the truth Gabriel travels to Australia where the sordid secrets of his past catch up with him.

The show's two female characters, Elizabeth Law and Gabrielle York, are played by four actresses who portray the younger and older versions of both.

The interface between the women's past and present selves is both bittersweet and poignant.

Yvonne Martin and Lara Macgregor as Elizabeth are reserved, trapped and alone and Jude Gibson and Lauren Gibson as Gabrielle are headstrong yet ill-fated.

When The Rain Stops Falling is a true family saga complete with characters that ache from the past but are let down by the future.

The script by nature is cathartic and provokes overwhelming feelings of both sadness and hope. It is moving and powerful but light-hearted and familiar at times.

The set, designed by Mark McEntyre, is a magnificent tool that uses gauze screens to convey the past, present and future and the sound effects are mesmerising.

When The Rain Stops Falling is an exceptional piece of writing that becomes a stunning piece of theatre in the capable hands of The Court. 

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- The Press

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