Theatre Review: Between Two Waves

An environmental scientist has had his house damaged & loses ten years of valuable research during a deluge of floods & rain. leading him to examine his life.

Between Two WavesPresented by Corey McMahon in association with State Theatre Company of South Australia
Reviewed 11 October 2014

There are two major theories for severe climate change. The first is that it is cyclic, occurring periodically over the Earth’s history; the second is that what we are continually doing to the planet is tipping the balance between Man and Nature so far towards destruction that it is eventually going to became irreversible and irreparable.

This second theory is used by Ian Meadows, in his play Between Two Waves, as the central thread to examine relationships and, more importantly, raising children in a world with a bleak future.

Meadows sets his story in Sydney during a deluge of floods and rain. Environmental scientist Daniel (Matt Crook) has had his house damaged and lost ten years of valuable research and, while having his insurance claim investigated, examines his life – distant past, immediate past, present and future.

As depressing as this may all sound, there is a lot of humour in Meadows’ very clever script and wunderkind director Corey McMahon brings it all to the fore. It is so good to have McMahon and his expertise back in Adelaide, displaying his skills of naturalism, quirkiness and excellence. He is aided in this venture by Olivia Zanchetta’s very Australian ‘wet’ set consisting of shower screens and louvered windows, and Nic Mollison’s (literally) pinpoint lighting design.

As the central character, Daniel, Matt Crook gives a tour de force performance, running the gamut of emotions and nailing every one of them perfectly. His anxiety attacks are so realistically portrayed that one can’t but help fear for the young actor. Crook always gives an excellent performance, but this present one is superlative.

Ellen Steele certainly holds her own with Crook as the fiery, fast-talking Fiona. Every moment counts with this performer. Steele is fiercely opinionated one moment, exuding the most beautiful compassion the next.

As the starchy, very business-like insurance adjuster, Elena Carapetis is excellent, deserving of the many laughs her superb timing and nuances elicit. However, she too delivers in the compassion stakes. James Edwards does well with the only under-written role of Jimmy, especially in his final scene with Crook.

This reviewer admits to waiting all year to see McMahon and Crook working together again, and wasn’t disappointed. In all aspects, Between Two Waves is a stunning piece of indie theatre, ably supported by Adelaide’s flagship professional company, the State Theatre Company of South Australia.

Reviewed by Brian Godfrey
Twitter: @briangods

Venue: The Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas Street, Adelaide
Season: 9 – 25 October 2014
Duration: 1 hour 45 mins
Tickets: $20.00 – $30.00
Bookings: Book through BASS online or phone 131 246


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