After the Rainfall (4 stars)

This article is from 2012

After the Rainfall

Ambitious multi-layered show that bears repeat viewing

A young British diplomat makes a desperate bid to get home from Suez in the 1950s. Thirty years later, a Cumbrian art student creates a memorial to a trapped miner. An Egyptian backpacker struggles across Europe, and an ant expert releases an explosive book. Kings and queens die, empires rise and fall, and nuclear waste travels the globe in search of a resting place.

It’s enough to make your head spin. And there’s the undeniable feeling that Curious Directive’s After the Rainfall might be just too dense, too packed with ideas that crash and shatter against each other throughout the course of the show.

But there’s no denying its huge ambition, and at its best the show is breathtaking – a visually spectacular, intellectually rewarding experience, with highly effective video projections, beautiful choreography and a lucid, often poetic script. Jack Lowe's direction keeps things moving fluidly, and the small cast are entirely convincing in their multiple roles. Just bear in mind that you might need to see it more than once to fully disentangle its meanings.

Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, until 27 Aug, 3.40pm, £12–£13 (£10–£11).

After The Rainfall Trailer

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