The Arts

When the Rain Stops Falling

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Reviewed by Paula Citron
September 1, 2011

When the Rain Stops Falling
Shaw Festival
Written by Andrew Bovell
Directed by Peter Hinton
Performed by Donna Belleville, Wade Bogert-O’Brien, Krista Colosimo, Jeff Meadows, Peter Millard, Ric Reid, Tata Rosling, Graeme Somerville and Wendy Thatcher
Studio Theatre
Aug 11 to Sept. 17, 2011

Andrew Bovell’s 2008 hit When the Rain Stops Falling is perfect for the Shaw Festival’s intimate Studio Theatre.

Bovell is Australian, and he uses the geography and terrain of his country as a symbolic background for his complex journey through 80 years of a family’s history. The time covered is 1959 to 2039, but it’s not science fiction. Rather it sees the disintegrating ecology of the world as a mirror to the waning fortunes of humankind.

The Law and York families hide incredibly dark secrets which impact on each successive generation. The play skips back and forth in time as we see older and younger versions of the same characters enact their family’s bleak journey.

The Canadian director who best handles complicated epics is Peter Hinton. The Shaw ensemble is near perfect in his imaginative hands.

This is a difficult and intriguing play but worth the visit.

When the Rain Stops Falling continues at Shaw’s Studio Theatre until Sept. 17.

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