It is heartening to see South Australia’s flagship theatre company getting behind some of Adelaide’s most prolific and promising independent artists. The core of this production is distinctly independent, with many emerging and/or freelance artists at the helm, but the solidarity of STCSA is markedly present and hopefully a means for these creatives to thrive.
Between Two Waves by Ian Meadows utilises Climate Change as a backdrop and driver of human decisions. The protagonist, Daniel (played impeccably by Matt Crook) is a scientist working in the area of climate policy development, driven by his fears and insecurities both at home and at work.
Crook is faultless in his performance. His anxiety, humour, depth and intelligence is captivating, holding the audience throughout the piece. Ellen Steele as Daniel’s elusive girlfriend, Fiona is sassy but down-to-earth in all the right ways. Elena Carapetis as Grenelle, the insurance assessor with her own problems at home brings a lot of the comedy, but also the required opposing views in the climate change debate from family and business groups. James Edwards as Jimmy, a friend of Daniel’s provides stability and commentary to tie the piece together.
The ensemble is strong and supported by thoughtful and effective direction from Corey McMahon. McMahon utilises the text to ensure that audiences are not brow-beaten by climate change rhetoric, highlighting the humanity of the debate as often as possible.
Meadow’s script is contemporary and very apt in this day, providing an overlay of current issues and debate that unfortunately has been around for a while now with no real results. This is beautifully reflected in Olivia Zanchetta’s design (one of the best this reviewer has seen at The Bakehouse Theatre in a while).
The script structure however struggles with the ending, with the final scene being an unnecessary “neat” tie of the bow, providing an anti-climax to the previous engrossing scene and culmination of Daniel’s story.
Between Two Waves is a brilliant example of the quality that independent theatre can have with the right resources supporting. Here’s hoping there is a lot more in the future. Bravo.