The national tour of Rain Man, produced by the Classic Screen to Stage Theatre Company, has just opened at the New Theatre in Cardiff. Based on the Oscar-winning 1988 film by the same name, the show brings the roles made famous by Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise to the stage and a live audience.
Rain Man tells the story of salesman Charlie Babbitt and his discovery of his long-lost brother, Raymond, an autistic savant who has inherited the family fortune. Setting out to get a share of the fortune which he believes is rightfully his, Charlie removes Raymond from the institution he has grown up in and the two embark on an adventure across America.
The show is incredibly funny and heartwarming, and we found ourselves instantly caught up in the story of these two estranged men on their journey to becoming true brothers. The hit film translates seamlessly to the stage, and we thought that the innovative ways the production team switched between sets were particularly clever.
The show stars Matthew Horne, who is known for playing Gavin in the double BAFTA winning comedy series Gavin and Stacey, as well as the BBC series The Catherine Tate Show, and Jack Whitehall’s Bad Education. He also recently appeared on the West End in The Miser opposite Griff Rhys Jones and Lee Mack. Making his stage debut alongside Horne is Ed Speleers, who has previously starred in the Golden Globe award winning series Downton Abbey and the fantasy blockbuster Eragon. It has also just been announced that he is joining the cast of popular time-travel drama Outlander.
At the end of the show, collection buckets for Mencap Cymru, a charity that makes sure people with learning disabilities are valued equally, listened to and included, were promoted on the way out. Having just watched a show that highlights the struggle that those with mental disabilities undergo on a daily basis, this seemed to resonate with the audience, and plenty of donations were made.
Rain Man runs at the New Theatre from 10 – 15 September and tickets are available from the Box Office on (029) 2087 8889 and newtheatrecardiff.co.uk.