When The Rain Stops Falling – 5 Tips For Staging A Show About The End Of The World During A Pandemic

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'When The Rain Stops Falling' 'When The Rain Stops Falling' Image © Josh Wayn

Andrew Bovell's award-winning 'When The Rain Stops Falling' is headed to Melbourne.

Starring Francis Greenslade, 'When The Rain Stops Falling' sees an apocalypse moving closer while Gabriel York tries to piece things together. Fish are falling from the sky, a daughter inherits a secret and the rain never stops.

'When The Rain Stops Falling' spans four generations over eight decades across two countries, between a prediction in London in 1959 and its outcome in Australia 80 years later.

This production is being presented by Iron Lung Theatre, a Melbourne-based independent theatre company founded in 2018 by NIDA graduates Esther van Doornum and Briony Dunn.

Here, Iron Lung Co-Artistic Director Esther Van Doornum lists five tips for staging a show about the end of the world. . . During a pandemic.


Don’t get too attached, roll with the punches, have a sense of humour. You’ve spent years on pre-production and then a global pandemic happens. Awesome. Your show gets shut down and there is a mad scramble Zoom meeting with the production team where you all laugh maniacally and wonder if you will ever work again.


Stock up on alcohol and other vices. Your show gets rescheduled, you head back into rehearsal, everything’s peachy, and the room is buzzing with 'We can do this! This is happening!' vibes. But no. Melbourne goes into Lockdown 4.0 and you are left pacing the floor, refreshing the daily infection rates page every five seconds and waiting for Brett Sutton to give you a glimmer of hope while home-schooling your insane children.


Your lead actor, who hasn’t had a paid gig in five years, gets the lead in a big international production and has to drop out. Refer to number two. You’re gonna need that alcohol.


Have a good team of peeps. You are only as good as the people around you and you’re going to need whip smart, motivated creative thinkers to pull you through the quagmire. You'll also need someone you can text crazy face, head exploding, face palming emojis to at 1am.


Your play is about torrential rain that never stops and every time you rehearse there is actual torrential rain. Just embrace it.

’When The Rain Stops Falling' plays Theatre Works (Melbourne) 10-31 July.



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