Before it Rains – Young Critics Review

Before it Rains ***
Sherman Cymru 25th Sept – 6th Oct
Written by: Katherine Chandler
Directed by: Roisin McBrinn

A play with the potential to become a hard hitting classic…
Set between the bereft garden of a typical ‘Shameless’ style council estate and a deserted woodland, Before it Rains tells the story of a desperate-to-be-young mum Gloria and her struggling-to-fit-in son Michael, and how their lives are affected by the appearance of the emotionally and mentally scarred new estate delinquent, Carl.
The friendship between the lads is led entirely by Carl, who prays on Michael’s well embedded mental health issue to manipulate Michael’s thoughts and morals. This fires the main conflict of the story, as Michael’s loyalties are pulled on in a human tug of war.
Lisa Palfrey has fleshed out Gloria with Julie Walters style and humour, making the character both endearing and brash; Craig Gazey pulls heart strings and tickles the occasional funny bone with his dead-pan impression of a young man most certainly born on the autistic spectrum and Harry Ferrier does a good job of playing the stereotypical chav who takes things a leap too far.
There are moments where this kitchen-sink drama shows true grit, with laugh out loud lines and shocking actions, but the characters are not fully developed and the relationship between Gloria and Carl, in particular, does not hold enough tension to make the penultimate scene feel likely or as powerful as it should.
Before it Rains has a charm and harshness that hints at Chandler’s ability to create enigmatic characters with raw passion and realism; with further development, and perhaps a two act structure, it could be a GREAT play.
Catch it at the Sherman until Saturday 6th September, in Theatre 2, 8pm.
Tickets £14 | Concessions £12 | Under 25s half price
Suitable for 12+

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