Monsoon Season

You've probably heard plenty of stories about lucky couples who fall in love, get married and live happily-ever-after. But what happens when happily-ever-after turns sour? Or goes beyond sour and turns completely rancid?

There's not a wasted moment

Set in Phoenix, Arizona, Monsoon Season tells the story of Danny and Julia's divorce. We begin with Danny's story. Danny is an out-of-luck everyman. He works at a call centre and, after his ex took their child and house, he's been forced to move into a bedsit across from a strip club where the bright lights keep him awake all night long. The set is scattered with boxes filled with remnants of his previously content life - one is simply marked "board games".

Next is Julia's version of events. After a clever scene change, we're transported from Danny's apartment to Julia's family home. It transpires she's an Adderall addict and minor YouTube make up influencer, and she isn't living the life of Riley you might have supposed from Danny's initial description. Richard Thieriot plays Danny with wild wide eyes and an enforced smile, reminiscent of Jack Nicholson in The Shining. As Julia, Therese Plaehn injects her performance with a physical energy that will leave you breathless. Both are grotesque, but not entirely monsterous, and you can't help but switch between feeling sympathy and disgust for them.

Scriptwriter Lizzie Vieh is clearly very talented and has packed her script chock-a-block with dark humour. Director Kristin McCarthy Parker has kept a tight ship and there's not a wasted moment; both Thieriot and Plaehn are adept at drawing laughs out of every line. As a result, the two leads rattle through their scenes, taking the audience on a thrilling rollercoaster ride. Despite the continuous laughter, Monsoon Season maintains its dramatic tension from the outset. Everything, from the flickering lights to the regular references to bloodthirsty birds, is designed to unsettle you.

Monsoon Season has many twists and turns, but they're not completely unpredictable, and heightening the gore could have given this production just an extra edge. But forget Poirot, this performance is less about figuring out where the characters will end up and more about simply enjoying the ride. After all, this might not be the love story you'd want for yourself. But to watch? Yes, please.

Reviews by Elanor Parker

The Space

The Black Cat

★★★
The Spire

A Christmas Carol

★★★★★
Brighton Open Air Theatre

The Snow Queen

★★★★
Brighton Open Air Theatre

Hansel and Gretel? (A Postmodern Pantomime)

★★★★
Brighton Open Air Theatre

Séance

★★
The Old Market

Ask Me Anything

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

A brutally demented romantic comedy. It’s monsoon season in Phoenix, and recently separated couple Danny and Julia are spiralling into chaos. A strip club’s flashing neon sign is keeping Danny awake at night, and Julia’s Adderall addiction has only gotten worse since her dealer moved in. Danny is suffering from micro-blackouts and Julia keeps seeing a giant bird in her backyard. Is anyone taking care of their child? Starring Broadway’s Richard Thieriot (Clybourne Park) and Therese Plaehn (The Humans), Vieh’s script comes alive with biting humor and blinding insight. Produced by Off-Broadway's AFO (2016's My Name Is Gideon).

Most Popular See More

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £45.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £29.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Pretty Woman: The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Heathers The Musical

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets