When the Rain Stops Falling

12 November – 5 December 2021


by Andrew Bovell

An epic inter-generational story of two families and the weather they make by Andrew Bovell with a stellar cast including Liz Chance, Chris Benaud, Lorrie Cruikshank, Tom Davies, and directed by Gregory Aitken (Mid Summer Night’s Dream, The Incorruptible, Edgar and Mary).

We’re in Alice Springs in 2039. A fish falls from the sky and lands at the feet of Gabriel York, and it still smells of the sea. It’s been raining for days and Gabriel knows something is wrong. Spanning four generations and two continents, When the Rain Stops Falling explores patterns of betrayal, abandonment, destruction, forgiveness and love.



Andrew Bovell’s career of over thirty years has won him many awards around the world. When The Rain Stops Falling premiered at the 2008 Adelaide Festival of the Arts, before touring nationally. The play has been produced in London at the Almeida Theatre (2009) and in New York at the Lincoln Centre (2010) where it won five Lucille Lorrell Awards and was named best new play of the year by Time Magazine. His play Speaking in Tongues (1996) won an AWGIE and was internationally successful before being adapted into his groundbreaking movie Lantana. His widely acclaimed adaptation of Kate Grenville’s The Secret River premiered at the Sydney Festival in 2013.

In 2017 Andrew Bovell was awarded the Patrick White Fellowship for an established playwright by the Sydney Theatre Company. In 2008 When The Rain Stops Falling won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and the QLD Premier’s Literary Award.

Four quotes from Andrew Bovell

‘ The playwright’s job is to tell the truth. In drama the truth should be elusive just out of reach. It is the reach for truth and never quite finding it that can make a play so compelling. The shades of grey, the moral ambivalence, the contradictions of the human condition that is the stuff of our best drama.’

‘ I push the boundaries of credulity that puts the characters under emotional stress.’

‘Australia is not a white country. It is not Anglo/Celtic. It is not Christian.  We are much more than that.’
‘ a fish falls from the sky in the middle of the Australian desert.
Is it the end of the world or tomorrow’s lunch?’



Gregory Aitken is a well-known figure to Drill Hall audiences both as an actor and director.  He has directed notable productions including,  A Midsummer Night’s DreamThe Incorruptible and The Ballad of Edgar and Mary (which he also co-wrote).  His most recent acting role was as Mark Colvin in Mark Colvin’s Kidney.

Gregory began his professional acting career in 1974.  After moving to the Northern Rivers in 1993 he toured with NORPA’s first production Lilies of the Paddock a show that included the young actress Mandy Nolan. Then followed a series of acting roles with NORPA including The Cars That Ate Paris (Perth Festival 1995), Metamorphosis, No Sugar, Too Young For Ghosts and Conversations at the Ryan Hotel.  With Theatre North he toured with Deluge (Adelaide Fringe Festival 1994). He acted opposite the acclaimed British actor Derren Nesbitt in Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell.

The Cast

Andy Bambach
Liz Chance
Chris Benaud
Lori Cruickshank
Abby Green
Tom Davies
Briony Dalton
Bryan Jeffs
Cathy McDouall
Damien Twomey


The Drill Hall Theatre Company’s production of ‘RAIN’ has a mix of emerging and seasoned local actors.

Liz Chance, Chris Benaud and Lorrie Cruickshank have enjoyed extensive careers in the theatre. Andy Bambach a filmmaker and musician, is the composer and musical director for the production. Andy also plays Gabriel York, a busker in Alice Springs in 2039. The ensemble now encompasses ten performers playing nine characters.

“The production has evolved organically with the input by all of the creative personnel in the project. I am assisted in coaching and at times co-directing the actors with my colleagues, the new Artistic Director of the DHTC, Liz Chance and my assistant the actor Lorrie Cruickshank.

By good planning and good luck we have three skilled musician/actors in the production to underlay the musicality of the play’s melancholic theme. This is a harmonious company of richly talented and committed actors creating a work that is deeply meaningful and highly relevant. The play will touch audiences as it has when produced throughout the world since 2008.

I started developing this production around Christmas 2018. The first reading was in March 2019 to an audience of Drill Hall members. Our production is well thought through because of this long preparation time.  The production was originally planned for August / September  2020 but was postponed due to the COVID pandemic.

“RAIN is our comment on where we see our nation at this point in our history. It is a joy to bring it together with such a wonderful creative team.  When The Rain Stops Falling is a magnificent play. It has humanity and wisdom. Beautifully crafted by Andrew Bovell, When The Rain Stops Falling is a very special component in what is going to be a vintage year for theatre at the Drill Hall,” said Aitken.

 When The Rain Stops Falling,  The Production

Sunita Bailey (PRODUCTION DESIGNER), the lighting designer for the popular Drill Hall Theatre productions, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Ballad Of Edgar and Mary and The Incorruptible.

Dan HarcombeSoundscape

Michael Hennessy was a dancer with the Sydney Dance Company for a decade. Formerly the resident choreographer with NORPA Michael is currently the Artistic Director of Sprung. Michael will choreograph the movement for RAIN.

Andy Bambach is an actor, filmmaker and the lead singer and guitarist for The Eerie Things. Andy will compose and play the musical score.


The Salt Creek Roadhouse – The Coorong

The Three Amigos – Greg Aitken, John Rayment & Michael Hennessey




A review of the play by Kevin Jackson – New Theatre, Sydney, 2015

‘I saw the original Brink Theatre production in the Drama Theatre, at the Sydney Opera House, in 2008, and rated it as one of the great experiences of new Australian writing I had had for a long time.

It was the play that knocks one happily into a state of awe. Although woven around the serious issue of climate change…the structure, the thematic connections to the mysteries of time, myths and universalities of the history of the human species is what impresses one and leaves one in a state of wonder, from the moment of a fish falling from the heavens at a character’s feet, in Alice Springs, to its gentle ending.

If you love the theatre, this is a gentle but heart-stopping, life enhancing must see. Do go.’