By Jamaine Chiwaye
“People get to see themselves on stage. They relate to each and every character on one level or another. They laugh, cry, sigh and breathe because of such a bond that could only have been created by Minghella.” So said Christine Balt, who acts in one of the scenes of Listening to the Rain: A Tribute to Anthony Minghella which recemtly ran at the Rhodes Theatre.
Directed by Acty Tang, this collage of Minghella’s work before The English Patient form a brilliant show performed by a well-blended mix of first-years, Masters graduates and staff members. Listening to the Rain provides the audience a first-hand account into one of England’s most prolific playwrights. Set in an extremely intimate setting in the theatre, there is no better occasion than this for the audience to truly and deeply connect with the actors and their character, and vice versa – so far to the point that you are feeling with one of the characters who in fact is dead. The production is an amalgam of dance theatre, short film, film text and a play. Brought forward with such intensity that enables the audience to become one with the characters.
As the production rolls on, one may get the feeling that words are unnecessary because the actors lay bare raw emotion which I, alongside many in the audience eagerly lap up. Listening to the Rain is not a production for everybody’s list. However, if you have not heard of Anthony Minghella, it is still worth watching if you want an emotional and profound experience. What to expect is a mirror which forces or rather enables you to delve into your own soul and see what is there and reach your own conclusion.