Rain and Zoe Save the World by Crystal Skillman. Jermyn Street Theatre, 16b Jermyn Street, London SW1 to 12 March 2022. 1*. William Russell.

Rain and Zoe are two teenager activists from Washington State who set out to travel east in order to save the planet by blowing things up and demonstrating about climate change. They would have been better occupied trying to save this terrible play which wastes a hard working cast in a welter of platitudes. There is, to be fair, a rather clever piece of business in which two of the cast transform themselves in to a human quad bike for the visionary two to ride, a small revolve which turns itself into a poisoned lake – Jermyn Street rarely goes in for such luxuries – and one of the two actors who play everybody other than Rain and Zoe delivers quite a nice frog. But none of these are enough to save the show. To cite the advice once given by the Master – Don’t put your play upon the stage, Crystal Skillman. I could go one, but suffice it to say she should maybe write a pamphlet instead.
Rain (Jordan Benjamin) is a bullied High School kid who sets out to blow up a refinery which is poisoning the local environment. Zoe (Mei Henri) the daughter of a one time activist who has disappeared, lives with her father, reads her mother’s diary and decides to go look for her come what may. Mother, we discover, is in a home for activists who have burn out through the effort of being an activist. In due course the errant pair become terrorists hunted by the police and things crawl to a conclusion. Benjamin has charm and just about manages to make one feel for Rain’s predicament, Henri, unlucky in that this is her professional debut, never manages to make Zoe other than hugely irritating, while Richard Holt and Salma Shaw labour impressively being everyone else. There are bad evenings in the theatre worth seeking out – and there are the other kind. This is one of the other kind.

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