I've never met a Haligonian I didn't like. And so it goes with the 2b Theatre Company
that is currently touring their clever and very entertaining When it Rains
written and directed by Anthony Black and playing at the Belfry Theatre's SPARK FESTIVAL.
Introduced as a "story of four people" When it Rains
chronicles the relationships of Anna (Samantha Wilson), Louis (Pierre Simpson), Alan (Anthony Black) and Sybil (Francine Deschepper). Their stories are filled in through brilliant lighting effects (a projected set & stage directions), music and a wisecracking narrator with a computerized voice.
Each character and couple has their own unique problems that reflect the trials and tribulations of modern relationships. Anna is a flake searching for fulfillment in yoga, silent retreats and sex with gurus. Her husband, Louis is a displaced Frenchman toying with philosophy, disillusion and other women. Alan (Anna's brother) is an unapologetic atheist with a tendency to explain away the blessings of his life with mathematical probabilities. His wife Sybil, by contrast, marvels at the world that's brought her Alan and their unborn child.
The show kind of lulls you in with a cocky glibness and just when you're feeling comfortable—laughing along knowingly—you're smacked upside the head with heartbreak and disarming earnestness. Suddenly the funny characters take on a whole lot more depth. Anna's flakiness reveals an honesty and sadness that maybe hits a little too close to home. Louis' humorous stint sleeping on a park bench ends with him standing nude and vulnerable confessing his loneliness to his sister-in-law. Alan and Sybil face multiple tragedies that leave Sybil blank and bitter and Alan questioning the order of the universe.
All of the performances were strong, but I found Simpson's Louis the most engaging. There was something about the tragic and funny clown about him, that I thought was wonderfully portrayed. And he can sing. His 4 minute, 19 second of rendition “Ne Me Quittes Pas” was nothing sort of fantastic.
Each actor really and truly brought the characters to life and I suspect I'll find myself thinking about this show for a while.When it Rains
is playing from March 25th-29th as part of the Belfry Theatre's SPARK FESTIVAL 2014