An imaginative theatre show about the power of friendship has something for everyone, write Rosalind Appleby and junior reviewer Hannah Peterson.
Alex and Evie and the Forever Falling Rain, every other theatre company ·
State Theatre Centre, 27 January 2022 ·
“Hi what’s your name? What is your favourite game to play?”
Alex is wandering through the audience making friends and setting the tone for the adventure ahead.
“Which is cooler, my crocodile shoes or the shoes on the really old person next to you?”
We feel welcome and we’re laughing already, and when Evie, sulking in her house avoiding the rain, meets Alex we want her to love him too. As they set off on their adventure to stop the rain, we are 100 per cent on the journey with them.
Alex and Evie and the Forever Falling Rain, by every other theatre company, is a heart-warming mix of humour, storytelling and endearing characters. The script, by local writer Sophie Minissale, is a witty portrayal of friendship, and the actors bringing it to life are as much comedians as they are character actors.
Courtney Henri is cute, tempestuous and entirely believable as 10-year-old Evie, every emotion transparent on her face as she navigates moving to a new town where it never stops raining.
Jeremy Hansen is the guileless over-enthusiastic Alex who loves the rain but in the name of friendship joins Evie on her quest to stop it.
Storm Tamer is played by Rebecca Fingher and Gemma Sharpe gets lots of laughs as the temperamental talking cat Amadazeus, who, like Evie, prefers to stay inside – and not just because of the rain.
The creative team work well together under directors Anaïs Popoff-Asotoff and Julia Schwab. Patrick Middleton’s sound design draws on the musical tropes of gaming videos, which adds to the sense of choreographed adventure (although the timing was a little off in the show we saw).
The theme of friendship unfolds easily – why you need friends, how to make friends, how to keep them, how to repair a friendship, and when you might need to do something on your own.
A little shadow puppet cameo is an amusing illustration of overcoming fear and loneliness.
We all (children included) have had to spend time inside and alone these past two years. Alex’s optimism about the rain and people and just everything is particularly welcome. Be brave, give it a go. Something bad might happen but something good might happen too.
And if you are scared, it’s OK to cry so you can get it out and get on with what you need to do.
Junior review by Hannah Peterson, age 11 ·
If you are looking for a funny, adventurous, heartwarming and interactive children’s play, Alex and Evie and the Forever Falling Rain is the one to see.
The play feels like it starts when you walk into the theatre to the sound of rain. It is is like walking into a story book.
The main character Alex interacts with the audience – talking to and asking audience members questions which has us all laughing and interested from the very beginning. He asks me what I like about the rain but put on the spot I can’t think of anything at all!
We also see a girl on stage looking very sad staring through a window and immediately I am asking myself, why is she so sad?
The play itself starts with a talking cat called Amadazeus setting the scene and telling us why it never stops raining. As the story unfolds, Alex and Evie go on an adventure to stop the rain before Evie’s 10th birthday because her old friends can’t come to her birthday party because of the rain.
Along the way Alex and Evie solve puzzles and problems together, face their fears, support each other when they are scared, and become friends.
I like that the play uses simple technology and props such as puppets, lighting and sound effects to tell the story. When things get scary for the characters the music changes which sets the mood perfectly. At times the blue light dominating the stage is a little bit annoying as it draws my attention away from the characters. It would be good to see more variety with the lighting to mix it up.
I think the play is great – it is funny, heartwarming, adventurous and interactive. My favourite part is at the end when Evie says she doesn’t mind the rain anymore because Milo tastes better in the cold weather. I rate it 8.5 out of 10 and recommend it for ages 5-12 (but parents will love it too).
Do yourself a favour – go and see Alex and Evie and the Forever Falling Rain. You won’t regret it.
Update: 2023 season!
Pictured top: Jeremy Hansen (Alex), Courtney Henri (Evie) and Gemma Sharpe (Amadazeus). Photo by Sophie Minissale
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