Before it Rains
Wed, 12th Sep 12
Before it Rains tells the story, well, part of the story, of Michael, a mentally handicapped boy, and his relationships with his doting but drunken mother, Gloria, and Carl, one of the more evil estate kids from the disfunctional, "troubled family". The studio at the Bristol Old Vic is transformed, for this productioin, into an allotment, wood and urban wasteland - and very effective it is too allowing easy playing of the three spaces and effective use of the balcony -Alyson Cummins has designed a great 'world' for this story to take place in.
There is a lot of humour in this piece, which is good as the core story moving forward has a harsh reality to it that draws you in and makes you genuinely feel for thes broken, struggling characters. Lisa Palfrey's Gloria is a reprobate with a good heart and a desparate need for love and attention. Curiously so is the cruel Carl, played by Harry Ferrier, more damaged than evil he is bitter that his violent father's blood is in his own veins but cannot break free of the future that sets out for him. Craig Gazey's Michael is a believable, affable, warm, funny and yet slightly unnerving boy - extremely watchable. For my money I would have liked Roisin McBrinn to have brought out more of the threat in Carl, I didn't feel un-nerved the way I sometimes do passing a loitering gang of hoodies near an estate but otherwise her direction was pretty spot on ...
This is the first joint production between the Sherman Cymru and the Bristol Old Vic and runs at the Old Vic until 22nd September when it transfers to the Sherman until 6th October.