Written for What’s On Stage
Nicholas Pierpan’s The Maddening Rain is an unsettling portrayal of a world where people are bought and sold on a trading floor and a sharp look at how the poison inherent in such an environment can pollute anyone.
Performed in a snapshot narrative by the impressive Felix Scott we see one man’s journey from an average Joe with two A Levels to “Big Swinging Dick”. Pierpan’s monologue may lack the razz-ma-tazz of Lucy Prebble’s Enron, but the impotent outrage feels as strong in a story which is told gracefully and with a wry gallows humour.
Whilst outwardly smooth Scott, with elegant direction from Matthew Dunster, cleverly reveals the darker recesses of our protagonist with a twitching neurosis which perpetually threatens to envelop this suave chancer. Relaxed and yet maniacal, it is an acutely empathic performance.
Emma Chapman and David Sharrock’s surreal, yet oddly pertinent lighting and sound design adds to the feeling that this is an expression of one man’s psyche, giving the whole production an unsettlingly nightmarish tint.
A look into the psychology that drives these city beasts and the social rules that create them The Maddening Rain is an intelligent and original take on a somewhat saturated contemporary subject.
Runs until 18 September 2010