How apropos, it being a rainy weekend. Another way to spend the time: When it Rains at SummerWorks. We follow the lives of four characters – Sybil, Alan, Anna and Louis as they muddle through the complexities of their day to day lives. Sure the stories are compelling on their own, but it is more how they are told that makes When it Rains unique.
Writer/director Anthony Black references graphic novel-style art direction and narration creating a safe distance from which to view the action, but also challenging conventional staging techniques. Tables and wine are replaced by silhouette projections, and the actors are often confined to awkward positions or tight spaces to find their light. The voice of the narrator is a programmed computer voice. It’s fascinating to see how the actors work within this digitized confine and still convey their humanity.
All four actors were brilliant, managing to drive the plot forward with a gesture or a movement, burdened with emotion. Of the four actors, Marc Bendavid traverses his environment most elegantly, finding softness and humour in the harsh whites and blacks of Nick Bottomeley’s clever projections. Bendavid also has the most fun as love-sick Parisian transplant who manages to steal the show with his charisma and excellent acting. Oh, and he gets naked too, which is totally okay.
When it Rains exemplifies the human fascination with technology by allowing it to stylize interactions and scenarios. Either we allowed it to enhance our theatre experience or we are so consumed by it that we miss the story. My date and I found the show to be engaging, interesting, and sometimes shocking, and at the same time cold and impersonal; a thoughtful development in the hybrid of stage, graphic, and computers.
- When it Rains plays at Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst St.)
- Show times: Mon. August 13, 7:30 PM, Thurs. August 16, 5:00 PM, Fri. August 17, 2:30 PM, Sun. August 19, 5:00 PM
- All individual SummerWorks tickets are $15 at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at http://ticketwise.ca, By phone by calling the Lower Ossington Box Office at 416-915-6747, in person at the Lower Ossington Box Office (located at 100A Ossington Avenue) Mon. – Sun. 12PM-7PM (Advance tickets are $15 + service fee)
- Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 3 shows