The East Riding Theatre’s production of ‘A Steady Rain’ starring Vincent Regan and Adrian Rawlins is anything but steady – it is totally absorbing, gripping and definitely not for the easily shocked. This dark tale of disastrous decision-making ends in tragedy – you somehow knew it would – yet there is a glimpse of a silver lining for at least one of the characters.
This play is a two-hander; this we know before we enter the theatre. It’s therefore the first of many surprises to see Denny (Vincent Regan) and Joey (Adrian Rawlins) on the stage when the audience takes their seats. We soon learn that Denny and Joey are two corrupt Chicago cops; they are also close friends who speak to each other with an easy, profanity-laden banter, full of witty one-liners and reminiscent of the dialogue of American TV series such as The Wire or The Sopranos. Denny is the dominant partner, married with children, overtly racist and cheating on his wife with a local prostitute while Joey is more introvert, single and secretly in love with Joey’s wife.
The story hinges around loyalty and how far moral turpitude can be pushed when Denny and Joey make a fatal mistake. Their accounts of the circumstances which result in a young Vietnamese boy being killed by a cannibalistic serial killer are quite different.
The whole play takes place on a minimalist, dark set, populated with only a table, 2 leather office chairs and a fridge. Oh, and a red-lined jacket which is the only prop. And, yes, at the end, there is rain, real rain. The feeling of gloom created by the lighting draws the audience into the hopeless circumstances which the cops find themselves inhabiting. This is when Joey has to dig deep to find his inner conscience, no matter the cost.
Written by Keith Huff in 2007, ‘A Steady Rain’ has broken records for attendances when performed on Broadway. This Beverley production has already extended its run due to the rave reviews and sell-out performances by an internationally-famous, yet local, cast who are so convincing that no-one leaves the theatre un-moved.
If you haven’t seen this play, then get your ticket as soon as you can. You will not be disappointed.