The Maddening Rain had an excellent 2010, and now the darkly comic story of success and loss is in the Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter, as part of a UK tour and New York run at Brits off Broadway festival.
Felix Scott revives his ‘blistering performance’ of a man who rises in The City after arriving in London with two A ‘levels only to step into the insanity of the world around him.
The Maddening Rain was written by Nicholas Pierpan, two-time winner of the Cameron Mackintosh Award for New Writing at Oxford, and directed by associate director of the Young Vic, Matthew Dunster.
This is the second production from Darbourne Luff. The company was founded by Richard Darbourne and David Luff, who have both produced in Berlin, New York and Edinburgh – both have also won the esteemed Stage One Producer’s Bursary. Co-Producers Upstart Theatre is a critically acclaimed company.
The Maddening Rain is at the Exeter Bike Shed from October 26 to October 29. For details and to book tickets pop over to the Bike Shed site.
Meanwhile, take a look at the trailer and read of the show from the Guardian’s Lyn Gardner.
Life is something from which most of us never recover, and the best that the nameless antagonist at the centre of Nicholas Pierpan’s impressive, if over-extended, monologue can do is to look around at the carnage of his own making and declare, “I’m here.” It’s a qualified statement in a piece that at its considerable best offers theexistential disquiet of Will Eno’s Thom Pain and the comic misanthropy of DC Moore’s recent Honest.
Like Moore’s Dave, the antihero of Pierpan’s play is a man who knows he’s living a lie. Unlike his mate, Ross, who puts together a working bowling alley out of discarded parts, this Leicester Dick Whittington who comes to London armed only with two A-levels, and ends up a job as a City trader as the markets crash and burn, can’t make the bits of his life fit together. The metaphor is a little too pat, as is the central idea suggested in the title of the wise fool who knows that his only option is to douse himself in the rain that has caused everyone else to go insane, so he’s just like them.
But Pierpan’s writing is often astute, capturing the odyssey of an everyman adrift in the city (conjured in loving, bus-route detail) who knows nobody, least of all himself. He can’t even connect with his past in the shape of his sixth-form love, Sarah, who he rediscovers working in Kilburn M&S. The idea of the bewildered but canny outsider in a middle-class milieu of privilege is neatly conveyed. In a blistering performance mostly delivered from one spot, Felix Scott ensures that this man, who doesn’t just have a chip on his shoulder, but an entire forest, is always fascinatingly watchable: a bit-part player who unexpectedly finds himself in the spotlight on the stage of life.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010