brisbane arts theatre

‘When The Rain Stops Falling’ // Brisbane Arts Theatre

‘When The Rain Stops Falling’ was gripping.

Brisbane Arts Theatre, is currently home to the gripping family drama, ‘When the Rain Stops Falling’. 

Alice Springs, 2039, a fish falls from the sky – it still smells of the sea. It’s been raining for days and Gabriel York knows something is wrong. ‘When the Rain Stops Falling’ unfolds like a puzzle to be solved. The story is told through the interconnected lives of two families across four generations, with the plot linking a prediction in 1959 London to its outcome in Australia eighty years later. This intricate, multi-layered story explores betrayal, abandonment, destruction, forgiveness and love. Moreover, damage to the planet serves as a metaphor for the damage inflicted from generation to generation.

Co-directed by Blake Young & Hamish Chappell, this creative team have created an entertaining and dramatic performance of the piece. Understanding the story is difficult due to the constant shifts in time and characters; however, Young & Chappell have employed strategic direction tools to assist the audience in understanding. The use of running water throughout the production and a projection of years helped the audience navigate the context. In addition to the family tree in the program, it could have been useful to explain the older/younger actor changes to assist the audience in further understanding the production. 

Lighting design by Clair Yorston was hard-hitting and stark. Yorston utilised spotlights for dramatic effect and character revelations throughout. Warm light was used to create the Australian desert, and while the lighting use was fantastic for the most part, some further attention could be given to directing actors in ‘finding their light’. There were times in the production when the audience could not see the significant faces or bodies. Sound design by Zoe Power was delectable, with a use of lightning and rain sounds throughout the production. This was a fantastic device to help elevate the tension of the scenes.

Costumes by Nick Scotney were leaned into realism effectively. Scotney opted for plain and pastel colours to avoid distracting from the character’s stories, a smart decision. Set design by Scott Lymbery was equally effective; a highlight of the set was the use of small lights in the curtain to emulate the stars surrounding Uluru. 

Each actor in this ensemble was impressive in their own right. Steph O’Shea as Younger Elizabeth gave a beautiful performance and gave both light and shade to their character during the height of the production. Claire Marchesi as Older Gabrielle York gave a meaningful portryal of dementia throughout, and was quite heart breaking. Nicky Whichelow as Older Elizabeth was stark and strong, showcasing the hardening of the character. Jeremy Wellwood as Joe Ryan was stellar, they brought the audience onside with their character, with a focus on kindness and love. 

Terry William Ozanne by Gabriel York was awkward in the best possible way. Ozanne created an emotional man longing for his son. Luke Friedman as Henry Law was a character audiences loved to hate, while at the beginning the audience fell in love with Friedman’s performance, the sentiment turned to hatred as his horrific crimes unravelled. Liam Wilson as Gabriel Law and Andrew Price was stunning. Wilson is an exceptionally talented performer and the clear standout in this production. 

Another highlight of this production was Lilly McAdam as Younger Gabrielle York. McAdam is a very impressive performer who crafted the role with many layers and considerations. McAdam is one to watch in the industry – an impeccable performance.

Overall, ‘When the Rain Stops Falling’ at Brisbane Arts Theatre is a fantastic production, a gripping family drama that is often not performed in South East Queensland. Brisbane Arts should be commended on showcasing such a fantastic work in stellar quality!

‘When the Rain Stops Falling’ performs until 9th March 2024 at Brisbane Arts Theatre. For more information visit their website.

Related Articles