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Criterion Theatre
A Steady Rain (2017)
Written by Keith Huff
Sat 2nd September to Sat 9th September

Another UK Amateur Première

Director – Richard Warren
Production Photos
Denny – Jon Elves
Joey – Matt Sweatman
Stage Manager – Michael Hammond
Prompt – Jane Flavelle
Set Designer – Terry Cornwall
Lighting Design – Sarah Basford
Sound Design – Dave Cornish
Artwork Design – Paul Hancock
Original Music – Joe Bennett
Wardrobe – Maureen Liggins
Props – Les Rahilly
Set Build – Terry Cornwall
Set Build – Chris Hernon
Set Build – Jenson Jones
Set Build – Tony Martin
Set Build – Judy Sharpe
Set Build – Terry Rahilly
Set Build – Simon Sharpe
Set Build – Mike Waterson
Set Build – Kevin Woods
Set Painting – Judy Talbot
Set Painting – Frederique Withers
Set Painting – Matilda Withers
Sound Operation – Dave Cornish
Lighting Operation – Sarah Basford
Lighting Operation – Paul Harrison
Lighting Operation – Reuben O'Connell
Lighting Operation – George Rippon
Lighting Operation – Karl Stafford



On a rainy night on the wrong side of Chicago, two cops are called out to a domestic disturbance. Best friends since childhood, they are practically family; but, when things go bad, a lot more that friendship is put on the line.

“A Steady Rain” is a dark psychological drama by a writer best known for the TV series “House of Cards” and “American Crime”. It was played on Broadway in 2009 by Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig, and we are delighted to present the UK amateur premiere.

Full of tense exchanges and razor-wire dialogue, it’s a powerful piece of no-holds-barred theatre.


Press comment

“….less like the perpetual drizzle of its title and more like a snowball that builds to an avalanche… genuine dramatic power and a sense of true tragedy” Variety

“An exceptionally rich, gritty and emotional drama…” Chicago Tribune




For more information about the production please contact Richard Warren, or email





It's Chicago and two cops - best friends since boyhood - are speculating about why being white is getting in the way of their promotion prospects. We in the audience can quickly see how that can be, but while Joey (Matt Sweatman), is prepared to at least try to cut out some of their non-politically correct  bantering in the locker room, his married partner Denny (Jon Elves), simply can't spare the time. The powers that be are "leaching the testosterone out of the law". And so begins their story on the starkest set imaginable.  Two chairs. Two men.  Only the occasional blast of hard-edged street music from British artist Rag and Bone Man punctuating their un-deleted expletive dialogue.  

The two roles are a gift for any actor at the top of his game.  Which is exactly where we find Elves and Sweatman. Apart from a short interval I sat for two hours along with the rest of the Criterion audience, hardly daring to draw breath as their story, brilliantly dramatised by Mad Men writer Keith Huff, unravelled before us.

Partly based on a true event, when this two-hander first opened on Broadway eight years ago it was Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig who took on the roles. I can't believe either did any better job than Elves and Sweatman on Monday night. Both master American accents with different inflexions from their supposed Irish and Italian backgrounds and while they spend a good deal of time in conversation with each other, director Richard Warren has them turning, to look directly at us, at key moments in the play.

Early on we learn the gentler Joey has a drink problem. And that fiercely proud family man Denny has been trying to save his pal with regular invitations to dinner round at his house - combined with introductions to "suitable" women. But cops in downtown Chicago don't know all that many suitable women. And Denny has secrets of his own that come rapidly to a head one night after somebody fires a gun through his lounge window.

This is not a play for the squeamish or easily offended.  It is one for anybody who appreciates superb drama.

Barbara Goulden

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