By Luke Ofield for Unmasked Theatre
Between Two Waves opens on Friday and runs from 28th of May-30th and then 4th-6th June
I first had the privilege of working with Ian Meadow’s cracking script Between Two Waves in London in 2019 with the wonderful Rising Tides. I worked as an assistant director to the brilliant Linda Miller and thoroughly loved it. I was struck by several things: firstly, it’s a really funny piece, and secondly, bubbling away beneath the humour is some serious fire and fury.
Like many producers, we had to reconsider the two plays in our 2020 fringe programme. A year later neither show would be viewed in the same way, and with social distancing, WE: An infinite number of revolutions would not have been the piece that we wanted to make. This has been a conversation I’ve certainly been having a lot with other practitioners lately- the re-evaluation of the work we’re making, why we’re making it, and what it is that really drives our programming.
What came up repeatedly in our discussions was our desire to work with text that touched on current and significant political issues. For Fringe- and for the Rialto space and audience- we wanted to play with intimate, actor led scripts and comedy (because let’s face it, after the last year, it’s important, right?). I was struck with how perfect this script would be. Both for what we wanted to make and for the present moment. There’s some great moments with cranberry juice, some hilarious monologues about questionable parenting and golden awkward flirting.
The text is also very much actor led, and has great claustrophobia in the inescapable intimacy of The Rialto stage. Also, at its heart, the play is about the climate crisis. It poses questions on the ethical responsibility of having children in the ever looming climate crisis.
Of course there’s anxiety over keeping the production and actors as safe as possible and whether audiences will return with confidence. We’re navigating it one step at a time. Zoom rehearsals were interesting- particularly with that half second of internet lag- and we’re definitely glad to be back in the room now. Ultimately, the show is exciting and powerful. I hope people can be there to see it.
On another note, it’s been a pleasure and a privilege to be back in the rehearsal room. To have conversations on parenthood, acting and live art has been exceptional for the soul. It helps that the whole team are magnificent and really very talented. I’d like to take this moment to thank Neil Sheppeck and Gavin Dent of Rising Tides for introducing me to this lovely text and to thank all those who have aided us in getting this production off the ground.
(Tickets available at: https://www.brightonfringe.org/whats-on/between-two-waves-153296/)