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A Steady Rain

29 September 2015 | 2:04 pm | Sean Maroney

"For fans of film noir, this show is a gold mine of gritty cop action."

Lawlessness and disorder explode onto the Old Fitz's stage. It's a gun, loaded. The stage is noir. All that's missing is a femme fatale. Stare down the barrel into the darkness. Two men will stand their ground. The gun is cocked. The stage threatens to spill blood, but whose?

Keith Huff's A Steady Rain is a bang-on buddy cop stage show. The cops are always in too deep and the case is always too personal. The plot threatens to fray around the edges from familiarity. But it doesn't. The cast and crew burst forth instead with a triumph.

The performances wrought by Justin Stewart Cotta, and Nick Barkla, and the direction of Adam Cook redeem this show from "just another buddy cop" story. You could watch Law And Order in that case. The two actors, though, are bridled carefully, energy seething from inside them. They are cautious. They inhabit the space as a singularity. The audience's attention never strays. They are percussive in their speech and action. Every movement threatens to destabilise the whole plot line - which is of course what happens. Violent twists and turns characterise this drag race through the downtrodden, pimp-heavy streets of Chicago.

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For fans of film noir, this show is a gold mine of gritty cop action. Theatre's peculiar claustrophobia is acutely recognised and utilised. It's intense from the get-go. The performers are juggernauts, the lighting design understated and superbly complementary to the action. A Steady Rain is highly recommended for all crime show lovers and those who want to be entertained in an old-school theatrical explosion.