The Same Rain That Falls on Me is a stunning monologue written by Logan Jones. Performed from a sofa, a young woman talks directly into the camera. At first it feels like she is talking directly to the audience, but soon it becomes clear that she is in fact speaking to her father. I’ll be honest and admit to an uncertainty that my attention would be kept for the full half hour, but before long I found myself completely engrossed. It must be so difficult for actors to perform in their own living rooms, but Ella McKeown’s performance is remarkably strong, doing full justice to the beautiful language and observations of Jones’ writing.
The play describes just a few days in a woman’s life, beginning with a phone call in which she hears the news that her father, who has lung cancer, is close to his last breath. The rant that follows about a climate change protest blocking her route to the train station is highly amusing, and in stark contrast later when she is moved to tears by a YouTube video of Greta Thunberg. She remembers her father leaving her on her first day at university, with his firm hugs as he knows she is scared. This is reflected when she finds herself holding her Mum’s hand hard to comfort her, despite their fractious relationship. It is these subtle observations and anecdotes which weave their way through the performance and make it so beautiful.
For anyone who has ever lost someone close to them, there are many moments that will bring back tough memories. But also, there are anecdotes that will make you smile in recognition. The observations that it’s the hottest day of the year, which doesn’t feel right given what she’s going through, the weird feeling of waiting for someone to die, and the trivial decisions such as choosing a Kit Kat or Twix when standing just down the corridor from a dying relative. Trying to have normal moments, like a family dinner, is difficult, captured perfectly by the line “the big cancerous elephant in the room”.
Despite the grief and sadness in this performance, there is also real hope represented by the woman’s niece, Autumn (even though she was born in July). You can’t help but feel the optimism of a young child who has no idea what is going on, why the adults around her might be sad. Her innocence and joy at playing with her aunty brings light relief to a monologue that at other times presents heart-breaking lines such as “You looked so different I thought we’d gone to the wrong room”.
This monologue would be incredibly powerful performed in a theatre, and hopefully it will get the chance soon. But for now, I really recommend settling down with a cup of tea to listen to this heart-breaking story. Just keep a box of tissues handy as it might just move you to tears.
Written by: Logan Jones
Directed by: Jay Seldon
Produced by: York DramaSoc
The Same Rain That Falls on Me is playing as part of Online@TheSpaceUK Season 2, and will be available free until 31 January. This show, plus many others, can be found on the website below.