When it Rains (2 stars)

This article is from 2014

When it Rains

Anthony Black's Bible-inspired hilarity fails to engage at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Based on the biblical story of Job, four lives are interwoven in this high-concept romcom. Writer/director Anthony Black has crafted something that treads old ground – the neuroses of middle-class people – using imaginative multimedia and meta-narrative (the cast send up respective predicaments and punchlines appear intermittently on-screen).

All are falling apart: Alan (Black), wife Sybil (Francine Deschepper) and sister Anna, the latter of whom is married to Louis (Marc Bendavid), a man so French he should be wearing a beret and toting a string of onions. Louis provides most of the comic relief amid scenes of tragedy, yet Bendavid plays him so cartoonishly, it becomes a distraction, with a ripe accent reminiscent of Eurotrash's Antoine de Caunes.

It certainly ticks all Fringe boxes: alcoholism; philosophy, spirituality, nudity and, in one entertaining segment, Louis performing Brel's 'Ne Me Quitte Pas' as an existentialist parody. Yet it's erratic, with uneven acting and a script that feels like a paler Magnolia. It's also hard to engage with the characters, especially the self-absorbed Anna, and the uneasy juxtaposition of earnest storytelling and high farce is jarring, despite Nick Bottomley's ingenious 3D design.

Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, until 23 Aug (not 11,18), £9.50–£10.50 (£8.50–£9.50).

When It Rains

  • 2 stars

2b theatre company A series of probable and improbable events befalls four people causing marriages to fall apart, communication to fracture, and people to stop bathing, to lose control, get naked, sing, have sex with strangers. Some kind of God intervenes. Or observes. Or something. Or nothing. A live-action existential…