15th March 2009 Jonathan Harris

Three Days of Rain


Photograph: Tristram Kenton

Photograph: Tristram Kenton

I like James McAvoy. There I’ve said it.

He’s a good film actor and a good stage actor. He makes a good fantasy creature depending on how you like your faunorgraphy. He does good serious, worthy films and he can buff up and shoot things with the best of them (try reading the graphic novel of Wanted too if you’re interested).

So I looked forwards to seeing him on stage, you always want to know if someone can cut it live.

Three Days of Rain is a two parter, three hander. You get the consequences first (present) and then the actions in the second half (past). Naturally not everything is what is seems, it deals with edited memories, nostalgia and dischordant relationships. There are echos of Death of a Salesman, though the leaps in time here are singular and far more structured.

It’s all good. McAvoy lifts it to excellent. The set transforms appropriately. Nigel Harman and Lyndsey Marshal provide sterling support, and I don’t mean that they’re bit players or second class citizens but it’s obvious who the A lister is. Though to be fair he does get the lion’s share of the lines and the opportunities to shine. Maybe a better way of saying it is that everyone plays to their strengths and no one lets the side down.

As a play maybe its a bit dated but it holds interest throughout and I’d say its one of the more pleasant nights I’ve had in the theatre.