The play stars Hollywood pin-up Josh Hartnett (pictured), making his stage debut as Charlie Babbitt, and British stage actor Adam Godley as his autistic brother Raymond, the roles played on screen by Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. When Raymond is released into Charlie’s care, Charlie tries to harness Raymond’s genius to save his business and the brothers embark on a rollercoaster journey beyond the hospital gates.
Rain Man is adapted by Hollywood screenwriter Dan Gordon and directed by Terry Johnson, who took over from original director David Grindley. The full cast also features Colin Stinton, Mary Stockley, Charles Daish and Tilly Blackwood.
Overnight reviews at the weekend were something of a mixed bag, though overall the balance of opinion was more positive than negative. There were some predictable grumblings about the pointlessness of screen-to-stage adaptations and the “vastly inexperienced” Josh Hartnett, though he fared better than many of his Hollywood peers who’ve tread the boards here. Some critics were quick to praise his “riveting” performance as being “as strong as Tom Cruise on the screen”, though most felt it was his co-star Godley who stole the show. Godley’s “unforgettable” turn as the autistic Raymond drew few complaints - “a mix of floppy toy monkey and a dogmatic stickler-for-routine old lady” being amongst the more creative descriptions.
- by Theo Bosanquet