There are a few truly stunning productions at the Shaw Festival this year- the top 5 in my rankings all really impressed. One of the most creative, most interesting, most effectively executed productions I’ve seen in quite some time was When the Rain Stops Falling in the Studio Theatre. With a criminally short run, you were very lucky if you got to see this special production, a 2 hour and 15 minute, intermission-less exploration through time and the generational ties that bind.
|photos by David Cooper|
Spanning two continents and 80 years between 1959 and 2039, Andrew Bovell’s ambitious play fits together five generational stories as fascinating pieces to the same familial puzzle. Inspired by a Francisco Goya painting of Saturn devouring his children, When the Rain Stops Falling is about the pain we cause our children, the world we leave them and the flaws we pass on. Using clever repeated motifs to link the characters through time, Bovell’s piece is challenging but surprisingly not confusing.
It’s an exceptional piece of theatre, a superb acting achievement all around, masterfully directed with Hinton’s restrained but poignant eye for suggestion. A rarity and a highlight in the Shaw season.