Rain From A Dry Sky – Pulse Fringe Festival, New Wolsey Theatre

What are you selling, who needs it and why? That’s the secret to business success according to one of the characters in Rain From A Dry Sky, a rehearsed reading as part of the Pulse Fringe Festival. It’s a question that should be posed to the production as well though, as it’s not clear what is being sold here or why?

On first inspection this is a play about business, consultancy firms and the inability of business folks to talk plain English but on closer examination the message seems less clear.

Anyone who has ever sat through a seemingly unending PowerPoint presentation will recognise all to painfully the string of buzzwords that open the play; synergies, metrics, drilling down, pushing the envelope; the list goes on an on. Consultants are brought in to try and turn the business around from more than a list of meaningless phrases.

There is an interesting plot hidden here but unfortunately much of Neil Fleming’s script is full of rambling passages and business techno-babble. Dialogue often seems contrived and non-natural. For example, during a couple having a bedroom chat about flights to France comes up with a clunky line about “Surmounting the aviation obstacles put in our way”.

Making business life into entertainment is a challenge. Plays such as Enron show that it can make great theatre but Rain From A Dry Sky needs more blue sky thinking to make its drivers really perform.

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