(revised 5/26/03)

Previewed 1 March 1999, opened 2 March 1999 and closed 13 March 1999
Returned: 9 November 1999 to 22 January 2000
Written by Richard Greenberg and directed by Robin LeFevre

Walker/Ned...Colin Firth
Nan/Lina...Elizabeth McGovern
Pip/Theo...David Morrissey

Publicity Stills

The Play in Images


Discussion of Play from Spring

Notes to Play

Review Excerpts (read full reviews here)

...from the First Run
"The force of Colin Firth’s remarkable acting transcends the mere erotic appeal that on television made him the fantasy play-thing of so many women. He portrays two men who loiter on the fringes of life, brooding over how to find the key to happiness. Firth’s valiantly worn dejection always rings true. Dowdily dressed in despondency, an almost thread-bare charm and a long, grey-green pull-over as Walker, and then in the role of his bespectacled, stammering and introverted father, the less brilliant architect, Firth illuminates both men’s diffidence and pain." (Nicholas De Jongh, The Evening Standard)

"This is a tremendous piece for actors and it is tremendously well-served by these actors. Each of them does something surprising....And Colin Firth is amazing. He is completely convincing as a pinched and bullying neurotic. As the neurotic's self-effacing and secretly successful father, he is a miracle of corrugation." (Susannah Clapp, The Observer)

"But Firth is touchingly truthful as an earnest stutterer with little self-belief and a terror of children" (Benedict Nightengale, The Times)

"Firth is an always game occupant of a pair of roles that he only really suits in act two, once he drops Walker's edgy, incessant bark to monitor the ellipses of the same man's bespectacled architect father." (Matt Wolf, Variety)

"With a marvellously effective use of doubling, the same actors are cast as the parents of the characters they have just played in the first half. The device doesn't just offer a chance for a smashing cast to show off their versatility, it also sharply points up the tyrannies—and occasional mercies—of genetic inheritance....Firth is superb as both the screwed-up, bullying Walker, brilliantly suggesting the egomania of unhappiness, and as Walker's humble, painfully stammering father, a performance that goes straight to the viewer's heart." (Charles Spencer, The Telegraph)

"The director, Robin Lefevre, coaxes witty, beautifully modulated performances from his cast, all of whom resist the temptation to signal too heavily what we know of their older selves. The rivalry between the men is captivatingly done and the climactic seduction scene is exquisitely played by a wonderfully gauche, stammering Firth—all spectacles and hunched shoulders—and febrile, skittish McGovern—a headstrong cross between a young Katherine Hepburn and early Blanche Dubois—yet even they cannot stave off the curiously flat denouement." (David Benedict, The Independent)

"The threesome deliver world-class performances. What you remember are not the smart sassy lines but Firth’s Walker, shivering like a traumatised child in his hunky grown-up game, McGovern like a gaudily painted butterfly staving off his grim alcoholic future with a desperate gaiety, and Morrissey’s Pip finding contentment and happiness in an acceptance of his second-rateness." (Lyn Gardner, Guardian)

" the acting is of a very high standard as the three performers take on their double roles. Colin Firth is convincing both as Walker, wanting to be sane and to come to terms with the past" (Lisa Martland, The Stage)

"Robin Lefevre’s production is exemplary, with three smashing performances from Colin Firth, Elizabeth McGovern and David Morrissey seizing the opportunity to excel in both generations." (Jane Edwardes, Time Out)

"Colin Firth gives Walker a raddled, clinging appeal as he attempts to glean affection from Elizabeth McGovern’s Nan...Firth, bespectacled and halting as Ned, a man of few words on account of his bad stammer, is almost unrecognisable and deeply moving...Robin Lefevre directs with an acute sense of the games people play." (Carole Woods, What's On)

"Lefevre’s production does the play proud, with the three actors giving excellent performances. Colin Firth contrasts movingly the willful, implacable misery of the son with the watchfulness of his shy, stuttering father." (Sarah Hemming, Financial Times)

...from the Second Run
"Robin LeFevre’s production is cannily understated, allowing three exceptionally strong performances to carry the full force of the text. These are roles that any actor hungry for a challenge would give his or her eye teeth for. Firth, Morrissey and McGovern do not disappoint." (Nick Smurthwaite, What's On Stage)

"the second half is much more vivid than the first; this is where Firth and, especially, McGovern really come into their own, playing off each other with a touching blend of awkwardness and allure, misgiving and giving." (Nigel Cliff, The Times)

"Thus Three Days of Rain is a manifestly tempting showcase for a trio of flexible actors while, thematically, contemplating processes of inheritance, the inescapability and elusiveness of the past, and the complexity and mutability of relationships. We perceive how personal characteristics resurface, refracted through a prism, when Firth transforms from the motor- mouthed, egocentric Walker to the stuttering yet secretly determined Ned." (Kate Bassett, The Telegraph)

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