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when the rain
stops falling

by Andrew Bovell

"Iron Lung Theatre does a fantastic job bringing this script to life through the stellar performances of its actors. It’s well worth watching."

Theatre People

"Briony Dunn directs with total assurance ...  she nails is the play’s atmosphere and dramatic structure."

Time Out Melbourne

"Heather Bolton is simply a knockout ... Alex Pinder rounds out the cast with a beautiful, heartfelt turn as Gabrielle’s husband Joe."

Time Out Melbourne

"Briony Dunn elicits detailed, complex performances. The performances are excellent."

Stage Whispers

"Francis Greenslade is a standout."

Theatre Travels

"Poignant, well directed and cleverly staged."

Australian Stage

2 - 18 march 2023


Alice Springs. 2039. A fish falls from the sky - it still smells of the sea. It’s been raining for days and Gabriel York knows something is wrong.

When the Rain Stops Falling unfolds like a puzzle to be solved. Told through the interconnected stories of two families over four generations; between a prediction in London 1959 and its outcome in Australia eighty years later. This intricate, multi-layered story explores betrayal, abandonment, destruction, forgiveness and love. Where damage to the planet serves as a metaphor for the damage inflicted from generation to generation.


Writer Andrew Bovell (Lantana, After Dinner, Anthem) has created an epic and powerful piece of magic realism, which asks the question: do we have the capacity to address the damage of the past in the future? First performed in 2008, the play has become increasingly relevant as the world faces the impacts of climate change and global warming.


Winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award and the Green Room Award, 2008, and the Sydney Theatre Award for Best New Australian Work in 2009.

This is an Iron Lung and Theatre Works co-production.

This production was produced with generous support from Creative Partnerships Australia, City of Port Phillip, Play King Foundation and Rise Festival.


Directed by Briony Dunn
Cast: Heather Bolton, Lucie Chaix, 
Esther van Doornum​, Francis Greenslade,
Darcy Kent, Margaret Mills and Chis Connelly
Lighting Design: Clare Springett ​
Harrie Hogan: Lighting Design Associate
Set Design: Greg Clarke
Costume Design: Betty Auhl
Sound Design: Darrin Verhagen
Movement Director: Cory Derrick
Projection Designer: Justin Gardham
Props Assistant: Hahnie Goldfinch
Associate: ​Stephanie Ghajar 
Producers: Esther van Doornum, Hugh Owens,
Paul Pandelis, Liz Dunn, Linda Herd and Kathryn House.
Production Manager: Julia Landberg
Photos by Lachlan Woods
Iron Lung would like to acknowledge Alex Pinder, who performed the role of Joe Ryan in the 2021 production. Alex has been undergoing a medical diagnosis process for Parkinsons/Hydrocephalus. Performing continues to be an important part of his life. He is determined to return to the stage soon and to bring attention to the ability of performers with disabilities to work and perform. 
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