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When the end is nigh turn up AC/DC and go Steampunk
Cracked Actors Theatre (CAT) present Rain Falling on the Abattoir written by Phillip Herd from now until 26 June in Albert Park. Book your tickets here
Luke Styles, Nicola De Rosbo-Davies and Alex Jackson
Written during Melbourne's never-ending lockdown, Herd takes us into an apocalyptic world where individuals determine their own fate. Rain Falling on the Abattoir was chosen from 70 new plays as the winner of CAT's Summer Reading 2022 program and is now produced live on stage as part of CAT's theatre season.
Nicola De Rosbo-Davies and Nicholas Matters
Directed by Matthew Richard Walsh, this play presents us with a series of flawed characters. Firstly, the flamboyant Clayton (Nicholas Matters) wannabe novelist and his partner Snout (Nicola De Rosbo-Davies) in their lavish apartment.
It's raining. It's raining a lot and the radio confirms what Clayton suspects. It's raining and it's not going to end anytime soon. Luckily, he has a typewriter and copious amounts of alcohol to see him through the 'end of days' (many Melburnians can relate to this experience!).
Clayton dreams of publishing a novel but can never seem to get the words out on paper. Snout is waiting for Clayton to love her, rather than be his 'muse'. It's not clear what else Snout does, other than nag Clayton to write and laze on the couch.
Nicholas Matters & Luke Styles
Luckily the provocative and steamy pizza deliverer Glen (Alex Jackson) can still make a quid. He is paranoid about the apocalypse but survives by making devious deals with all the characters. He is like the sexy 'Satan' of the play and uses his charismatic charm to lure others into temptation.
When Clayton's 'publishing agent' leaves town, he flees to the crossroads searching for salvation and meets a priest (Luke Styles). The priest is searching for his lost sister and agrees to help Clayton 'reset' his life purpose.
Shylie Arzouan and Nicola De Rosbo-Davies
Meanwhile, Snout's best friend Emmylou (Shylie Arzouan) vacates her day job broadcasting the weather to pursue her dreams in a distant land. Snout is devastated by the news and proceeds to drink herself into oblivion.
Like animals in line at the slaughterhouse, these characters are 'stuck' in limbo waiting for the inevitable. Do they stay and hold on to what they know or make a change? What are the risks? What is the likelihood of losing their life in the apocalypse or inventing a new life they have always dreamed of?
Shylie Arzouan and Alex Jackson
If you like the iconic Australian1979 film Mad Max with a strong dash of Ridley Scott's 1982 film Bladerunner and a ripping heavy rock soundtrack, then you will love this show. There are some very funny moments and interesting revelations as each character decides what legacy they will leave at the 'end of days'.
The costumes (Jane Hyland), production and set design (Sarah Yeung) are Steampunk which adds to the dystopian atmosphere and context of the story. Herd's writing is clever and witty and slapstick is used throughout the two acts to create some very funny scenes with accompanying sound effects.
A lot of tireless work and effort has gone into this production, and every theatre needs your support to keep telling our stories in these challenging times.