Lungs and One Day When We Were Young come together for the final play in Paines Plough's Roundabout season at Shoreditch Town Hall, The Sound of Heavy Rain. Where the other two plays are intimate relationship stories, Penelope Skinner's contribution is a drily witty pastiche, relocating the hard-boiled detective tropes of film noir from LA to the rain-soaked streets of Soho. Dabrowski (Andrew Sheridan) is a PI who spends his nights drinking to get over being dumped, when the dowdy Maggie (Maia Alexander) arrives at his office with a case for him. Her best friend and flatmate has disappeared, and the detective sets off to find the glamorous cabaret singer Foxie O'Hara. But the further he gets into the case, the more Dabrowski starts to suspect that Foxie may never have even been real.
Skinner's come up with an entertaining show that, with its story of Soho showgirls, even has a bit of a camp sensibility. It does move towards a darker tone at the story's end, and I'm not sure the decision (whether the writer's or the director's, I don't know) to end on a musical number quite works in that context. But overall both Jim and I enjoyed this quite a lot.
The Sound of Heavy Rain by Penelope Skinner is booking in repertory until the 27th of October at the Roundabout Auditorium, Shoreditch Town Hall.
Running time: 1 hour 20 minutes straight through.