Review: Rain Man at New Theatre

*Thanks to New Theatre for press tickets


It feels like a really long time since Warren and I have had the chance to go to theatre together, but last night we were invited along to review Rain Man at New Theatre.

Review: Rain Man at New Theatre

Rain Man is the story of two brothers, Charlie and Raymond, separated when they were young and brought together in the wake of their father’s death. Charlie is a wild and untamed car dealer and Raymond has high functioning autism and is living in a facility. When Charlie discovers his father’s £3 million fortune has been left to his brother, he decides to check him out of the facility without permission. THey end up on a road trip that will change their lives forever…

You might not know it, but I am a HUGE Tom Cruise fan, so seeing a stage production of one of his films made me feel a little nervous. Would I compare Edward Speleers (Charlie) to Tom all night long? Would I long to watch the film? Would I enjoy it? The answer is yes to all of them, but that’s no bad thing…

The stage was set with minimal props and funky 80’s lighting. It didn’t need to be a complicated set, because the focus of this story is dialogue and relationships. The first thing I have to say is how much I loved the ‘soundtrack’ to the night. The highlight was hearing Bowie, of course! I’m totally in love with the 80’s so this was an awesome element of the production and it was a nice way to break up each scene.

We get know Charlie straight away, and Edward Speelers held his own as he performed, cursing and animated (much like the Cruise version of Charlie). I thought he performed well alongside Elizabeth Carter who played his fiance Susan. Susan is almost like Charlie’s conscience, reminding him of right and wrong throughout the story. Susan came across as very sweet and genuine and I really loved her stage presence, she is proof that you don’t need to be an overbearing performer to get noticed upon the stage.

I was very nervous to see Mathew Horne’s version of Raymond. We all know and love Dustin Hoffman’s take on Ray, however Horne seemed to completely make this character his own. His timing was spot on and he either received bouts of laughter from the audience or tonnes of empathy. He definitely performed with 110% dedication and respect of Raymond’s character and others who have high functioning autism. It was very special to see…

I thought Horne and Speleers relationship on stage was very genuine, and the character developments were incredibly realistic. There were tender moments, hilarious moments and some very sweary moments too. It reminded me of life as we know it, and I love that!

The audience adored the production and there were standing ovations at the end. I thought the story was really cleverly adapted to the stage, and the dialogue is just fabulous. As Warren said when we left the theatre, don’t go and see this if you want lots of action or you think it’s going to be some sort of musical extravaganza. This story focuses heavily on dialogue and relationships, love and loss. And it’s pretty wonderful indeed…

I look forward to seeing all three main performers in more productions in the future!


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