The Classic Screen to Stage Theatre Company
"Mathew Horne steals the show..."
Now and again you see a pro production that just simply blows your mind and this stage adaptation of the movie Rain Man, for me, was one of them. I admit I was sceptical at first, pondered on how such an iconic film could possibly transfer to the stage, but with the truly genius set, the magic of Bill Kenwright and the casting of such great actors it worked a dream. The story, by screenwriter Barry Morrow, was inspired by ‘savant’ Kim Peek, an autistic man with extraordinary mental abilities, who Morrow met in 1984. The main character in the movie, Raymond, Babbitt, was based on Kim Peek and the story centres around Raymond and his younger brother Charlie, who were separated at a young age yet find each other by unfortunate circumstances. They embark on a journey, not only in the form of a road-trip to Vegas, but also a life journey where they find a connection, embrace Ray’s disabilities and Charlie’s frustrations, and bond again as brothers. Its a story that will touch your heart in many ways.
This play by Dan Gordon and directed by Jonathan O’Boyle is a sensitive and powerful adaptation. The cast as a whole gave truly stunning and memorable performances. Ed Speleers as Charlie, and his girlfriend Susan, portrayed by Elizabeth Carter played superbly and convincingly against each other and the gentleness and caring personality of Dr Bruener was captured wholeheartedly by TV actor Neil Roberts. I applaud Morgan Large who designed the set, an ingenious interlocking, flying in-out mechanically engineered masterpiece cleverly lit by Jack Weir, which created a variety of rooms, situations and doorways, supported by back-screen lighting and projections.
But Mathew Horne steals the show as Raymond. His emotions, involuntary movement, diction and outbursts are so convincing and breathtaking it will give you goosebumps. And, I have witnessed many standing ovations for excellence but this entire audience leapt to their feet within seconds of the last line and it was an ovation truly deserved.
This play is currently touring the UK. If you get chance to see it then don’t miss the opportunity, especially with this line-up.
Runs to 17 Nov
Contains adult themes and strong language
Not suitable for children
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