The Rain God

Can Charles make it rain? A scientific, music-fuelled, hunt for the truth.

The Rain God is a science-fable for the fake news generation. Half camp-fire legend, half meteorological documentary, and performed with a live original score: this one-woman show tells the mysterious true story of Charles Mallory Hatfield – a man who made it rain.

Imagine a drought-struck farm in the American West. And imagine a man riding out of the desert. He tells the uncertain farmers he can bring them rain. Desperate, they sign his contract.

Imagine, the next morning, instead of harsh blue-skies there are nimbus clouds. Imagine, by the afternoon, it is raining harder than those farmers ever saw it rain before.

These are the facts. This is what happened. Charles Hatfield brought the rain.

The Rain God tells the true story of Charles, from the cautious and curious perspective of Jack – at times a modern-day scientist, and at others a confused child in his storm-battered bedroom.

This one-woman show plays with our perceptions of truths and facts – and begins by sticking two fingers up at classic gender roles: telling the usual ‘genius men of history’ narrative through a female voice-box.

Actor Ruby Bentall (Poldark, Jekyll & Hyde, The Paradise, Lark Rise to Candleford) swaps petticoats for test-tubes – asking what truths are true, and what facts are important. All this to the beat of Robert Moutrey’s beautifully atmospheric soundscape, directed by Vault Festival favourite David Aula.

The science of raindrops, the mathematics of chaos, and weather-predicting supercomputers all come under Ruby’s microscope, in this whirlwind of extraordinary ideas.

1hr 00m
The Vaults
21 — 25 Feb 18:10
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About the company


PRONK! is a creative partnership set up in the Spring of 2017. The company combines science, music, and story-telling – to shape unusual tales into extraordinary live events.

Ruby Bentall (Performer) has previously performed at Vault Festival in The Cement Garden (Vault Festival 2014, dir. David Aula). Her other theatre credits include: Britten in Brooklyn (Wilton’s Music Hall, dir. Oli Rose); Peter and Alice (Noel Coward Theatre, dir. Michael Grandage); Hansel and Gretel (National Theatre, dir. Katie Mitchell); Blue Heart Afternoon (Hampstead Theatre, dir. Tamara Harvey); Grief (National Theatre, dir. Mike Leigh) Remembrance Day (Royal Court Theatre, dir. Michael Longhurst); Alice (Sheffield Crucible, dir. Lyndsey Turner); The Miracle and DNA (National Theatre, dir. Paul Miller), and Shoot/Get Treasure/Repeat (National Theatre, dir. Mark Ravenhill).

On screen Ruby most recently appeared in Absentia (AXN) and played a leading role in Poldark (Series 1-3, BBC). Other credits include Midsomer Murders (ITV); Jekyll and Hyde (ITV); Blandings (ITV); The Paradise (BBC); Lark Rise to Candleford (Series 2-4, BBC); The Bill (ITV); and Lost in Auden (ITV). Ruby has appeared in the films Interlude in Prague (dir. John Stephenson); Bikini Blue (dir. Jarek Marszewski); Mr Turner (dir. Mike Leigh); Robin Hood (dir. Ridley Scott),The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler (dir. John Kent Harrison), and Tormented (dir. Jon Wright).

Robert Moutrey (Composer / Performer) most recently worked as sound designer for Simon Evans / David Aula’s Hamlet (Park Theatre, 2017). He worked as musical assistant to Damon Albarn and Rufus Norris on Dr Dee – An English Opera (Manchester International Festival) as well as for the NYT and street-theatre projects in Manchester.
Robert recently toured the world in US rock’n’roll band Crocodiles, including performances on BBC 6Music, and at International Music Festivals.

David Aula (Director) created and performed in Vanishing Mankind at this year’s Vault Festival, and has had productions at three previous festivals. He performed the award-winning, Maisie Says She Loves Me (Vaults17); co-created and performed in the sell-out show The Vanishing Man (Vaults16), and directed festival headliner The Cement Garden (Vaults14).
He has worked extensively as a director, dramaturg, writer and performer in London, around the UK, and In America.

Jack Monaghan (Writer) played the leading role in The Graduate (West Yorkshire Playhouse, 2017), and has performed with the RSC, Shakespeare’s Globe, and for the National Theatre as the lead in their smash-hit War Horse (West End, 2011). He has previously developed new writing with the NT Studio, RSC, and Hightide Festival.

Press & Reviews

Audience Quotes from Litmus Fest Development Performance

'An intellectual and magical one-man show.'

'Bridges gaps between art and science and delivers an astonishing amount of knowledge.'

'Evokes the wonder of water and creation and the extraordinariness of science'