“Rainer, life has such little joy: If you find some. Hold on to it.” Rainer

Credit: Olivia Spencer

Rainer, written by Max Wilkinson and directed by Nico Rao Pimpare along with WoLab producer and creative director Alistair Wilkinson, is a one-woman show told through the romantic eyes of a bicycle delivery rider. It is showing at the Arcola Theatre, an outdoor venue. This made the venue more susceptible to outdoor noises, but these occasional sirens or construction sounds only added to the setting of the story. Jethro Cooke’s brilliant sound design elevates the story with everyday noises and impeccable choice of songs. Jamie Platt’s lighting is the most amazing design I’ve ever seen. Although the stage was bare, the lights distinctly create the locations Rainer cycles to.

Credit: Olivia Spencer

Max Wilkinson’s writing is outstanding. His mapping of London was crystal clear; I could visualize Rainer riding through the areas she was describing. He cleverly ended the show with Rainer stating, “This play doesn’t really have a message…I just want you to see her.” This is an ingenious sentence to include as he has graciously given us the purpose of his play – art for the sake of art. Art can be created for many purposes. It doesn’t have to convey a message or have a hidden meaning; it doesn’t have to be pretty or rare or by a well-known artist. With Rainer, Wilkinson romanticizes the mundane, the people who are always around yet invisible.

Sorcha Kennedy (Rainer) was an explosion of energy. An incredible storyteller, she hooked me from the very beginning and did not release me until the end. She played various other characters, but the writing and acting were so razor clear, I had no trouble distinguishing between them. She performed a range of accents and dialects that Jodie Comer would be impressed with. 

Go this beautiful, funny, eye-opening story before it closes 18th June!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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