The work can often find itself as a emotional tour de force or cliche ridden slow burn, and sadly, Iron Lung Theatre’s production at Theatreworks falls into the latter.
There was something timid about the work from the get go – a cautiousness that felt more akin to a tech or dress rehearsal than an opening night performance. This unfortunately wasn’t helped by the dragged out opening sequence that did little more than set the slow pace of the production.
Briony Dunn’s direction is well intended but lacking in momentum – rather the work simply unfolds on the stage without any genuine stakes or emotional depth. Transitions are clunky and the stage blocking has a level of uncertainty to it, causing each scene to never quite hit the mark.
The ensemble of Heather Bolton, Lucie Chaix, Esther Van Doornum, Francis Greenslade, Darcy Kent, Margaret Mills and Alex Pinder take on this mammoth script with varying levels of success.
Stilted delivery, emotionless direction and little chemistry between the cast meant that each scene became a cacophony of words and sentences that made little impact.
The lighting design of Clare Springett adds surprises and delights to otherwise dull moments, as does Darrin Verhagen’s sound design. Greg Clarke’s set design incorporated the work’s many locations and the twisting paths of dialogue.
This production isn’t without ambition – there are some really beautiful moments of emotional connection but sadly, the overall work fails to find its stride.
When the Rain Stops Falling
Theatre Works, 14 Acland Street, St Kilda
Performance: Wednesday 14 July 2021
Season continues to 31 July 2021
Information and Bookings: www.theatreworks.org.au
Image: Darcy Kent and Lucy Chaix in When the Rain Stops Falling – photo by Lachlan Woods
Review: Gavin Roach