Two Chicago cops, best friends since childhood, take you on a roller-coaster ride of testosterone and betrayal in the marvellously intense crime drama, A Steady Rain, at the Fugard Theatre.
In A Steady Rain you are introduced to Denny (played by Brent Palmer), the angry philandering cop that runs his mouth off without a care for consequences, and his frequently bullied partner Joey (played by Nicholas Pauling), the alcoholic introvert who is in love with his best friend’s wife. Add to this scenario a vengeful gangster, repentant prostitute, cannibal with a taste for Vietnamese boys, and a kid who just wants a puppy, and you have the theatre hit equivalent of a high speed car chase. What a trip!
Neither Palmer nor Pauling miss a beat in this brilliantly fast-paced and mesmerisingly wordy Broadway award-winning play by Keith Huff, directed by Adrian Collins. The actors emphasise the extreme flaws of their characters in a manner that make them strangely endearing. There is a nuanced balance in both their personal tortured soul perspectives, with Palmer upping the fatalistic energy continuously and Pauling fuelling the suspense.
Both effortlessly flash between narrator, witness and accused, aided by a minimalistic set that provides the perfect canvas for the remarkable tension enhancing lighting, which adds a striking film noir feel to this crime drama.
As you sit there captivated by their statements, you realise that although the facts may be similar, their realities are completely different. As the trepidation builds they reveal that every wrong move, though made with the best intentions, leaves each with their own darkening cloud of shame and guilt. Ultimately, it becomes clear that something has got to give as the testosterone driven rage builds and mixes with bursts of 'logic'. But what? And who will break the back-to-back pact of this friendship first?
A Steady Rain is a must see tragedy of errors. If you love television crime dramas like Rookie Blue or even the throwbacks Columbo or NYPD Blue, then get yourself to the Fugard Theatre and go experience the suspense and thrill of a great cop plot twister in live theatrical 3D. Book at Computicket to see it sooner rather than later. Run ends 22 October 2016.