Image: Rain Man 2019 tour – Adam Lilley & Chris Fountain
I have seen the classic Rain Man film with Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman thousands of times so I was unsure what to expect from the stage production.
Rain Man follows Charlie (Chris Fountain) who has heard news of his father dying and he thinks he’s going to be left a fortune. But there is a twist, he finds out he has a brother called Raymond (Adam Lilley) and he is in line to the money.
Fountain puts his own spin on the character of Charlie, a totally fresh perspective in comparison to Tom Cruise version. Charlie is an aggressive, egotistical and self-centred man but we learn later on in the story that he does have a heart and his temperament changes when he learns to love and share.
Lilley (who had to step in to replace Paul Nicholls due to ill health) plays Raymond and he is such an endearing character. With only Dustin Hoffman’s version to make reference to, Lilley has the voice and physicality of Raymond to perfection. Watching him with intent, he never ever relaxes his posture- he is constantly in character and in a fixated posture. I was very impressed with his performance.
The story feels episodic, with the constant scene changes and random extra scenes to add context before the main events. It does not always flow as one story. It is as if each scene is a new story.
Rain Man has some heartfelt messages and emotions. It is simply beautiful to see the relationship between these two brothers blossom.
Being a stage production, it feels like we are apart of the story and we are able to see each individual expression and raw emotions of the characters. We are able to connect more with the story in comparison to sitting at home watching a screen.
The performance is slow to start with, I fear that there are no levels and it is all one tone, however, it changes when Raymond is introduced in the first act. When Raymond comes into the play, the tone and the dynamics of the show drastically improves. It is only then that the story and characters become more intriguing.
I was pleasantly surprised by the stage show, Rain Man is a beautiful production that shows how two estranged brothers can become family and bring out the best in each other.
Rain Man is on till 13th April click here for more information.