Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews



Classic Screen to Stage Theatre Company (Bill Kenwright) , New Theatre Cardiff , September-10-18
RAIN MAN by Classic Screen to Stage Theatre Company (Bill Kenwright) A very moving and powerful story made even more moving and powerful by the totally convincing and compelling performance of Mathew Horne as Raymond who suffers from autism and has an amazing memory. Dustin Hoffman gave a memorable performance in the film from which the play has been skilfully adapted but Horne is his own man and gives us his own well-observed characterisation. Charlie, his, not very successful car dealer brother is given a much more tentative performance by Edward Speleers but his anger and frustrations do register well as their journey progresses,

Morgan Large has given us a basic yet dynamic set design and the on stage scene changes help the momentum of the progressing story. Charlie, who at sixteen drove away in his fatherís car and was never seen again, as a consequence at the reading of his fatherís will, he learns that all the millions have been left to a brother he didnít know he had. Adam Lilley is the perfect professional in his performance first as the lawyer and later as a consultant psychiatrist.

This is the first time Charlie has heard he has a brother, now a very rich one. He is determined to get his hands on what deems, his share of the money. He locates the institution where Raymond is being looked after. He lures him away to a hotel and the journey begins. Charlie has brought his girlfriend Susan along, a spirited performance from Elizabeth Carter. When she sees how Charlie treats his brother sheís off, leaving the brothers to travel alone.

Speleers convincingly gives us give a very full range of his emotions as he gets so frustrated and angry with his brother and the anger of the audience with Charlie is palpable throughout the auditorium. His attitude changes considerably when with Raymondís aide he wins a lot of money at a casino in Los Angeles.

At the heart of the play is the gradual way he begins to understand his brotherís Ďfunnyí ways and begins to see the person inside. The moment where Charlie teaches Raymond to dance is very poignant and like many moments throughout the play gives us a lot of laughter. One particular vignette, where Raymond meets a Hooker gives us a really big laugh although the scene is played completely for real. The very real production is gripping and its end gives us all a very real heart-warming buzz.

Reviewed by: Michael Kelligan

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