A Steady Rain is all in the dialogue
Cathode Ray Tube has brought A Steady Rain, made famous during its Broadway run by stars Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman, to the unassuming surroundings of Sydney’s Tap Gallery.
To describe the staging in the claustrophobic backroom as ‘stripped back’ would be something of an understatement, given that it consisted of two chairs and a small folding metal table. The action here is all in the dialogue between two men (interspersed by individual monologues) – Denny and Joey.
Played respectively by Michael Booth and Sam O’Sullivan, the pair have a good dynamic, throwing lines easily to each other, and the first half is punchy. As we get to know them, the context is uncertain, with hints that at least one is talking beyond the grave. Denny is the loving family man led astray by the challenges of their urban beat, while Joey is a lonely alcoholic trying to do the right thing – and, to further complicate things, secretly in love with his best friend’s wife.
The classic good cop/bad cop scenario is riddled with The Shield-style scenarios, from the hooker Denny ‘looks after’ to the battles with internal affairs. The second half, while still compelling, seems to lack a little pace in comparison, although this could have been due to the heat in the room (which would have been better suited to a Tennessee Williams play than something set in rainy Chicago). Excellent performances (particularly by Booth) and interesting material, but at times I felt (probably due to an addiction to US cop shows) that I’d seen and heard it before.