Review: Between Two Waves
Image courtesy The Space
Tomàs Barry - Daniel
Gintare Smigelskyte - Fiona
William de Coverly
Daniel is one f****d-up, neurotic climatologist.
Well, he's really no more or less f****d-up than you. Or I.
But studying climatology will do that to you, given the dark shadows that science has cast over our oblivion.
Now Daniel has a choice.
Knowing how the future looks, can he bring a child into a world at the mercy of cataclysmic changes in climate?
Ian Meadow's Between Two Waves is a vital piece of new writing about one of the greatest challenges facing humanity.
Originally performed in Sydney, Australia this UK premiere is a touching, funny and moving love story that taps into our anxieties for the future and the moral dilemma of bringing up a family in the face of climate change.
Rising Tides is a collective formed of experienced and emerging artists, with the aim to contribute to wider artistic engagement with climate change.
We aim to advance the understanding of climate change through the delivery of new professional theatre productions and theatre events for the benefit of the public.
Rising-Tides produced a 'takeover' as part of the HighTide Festival.
Rising Tides premiered no fewer than five new productions, Two Fish and Fractured both by Steve Casey, Limpets by Jonnie Bayfield, Think Tank devised by Chris Lawson & Paul Webster, Fridge by Polly Churchill.
As a result of this successful residency Rising Tides was awarded Arts Council Funding to research and develop Fridge and Two Fish with the support of the Arcola Theatre.
Claire HeavenPerformance date: Wednesday 23 October 2019
Climate change is one of those current 'hot topics'.
We're moving into a climate crisis having not taken the appropriate action so far.
And this is the general feeling you get watching Between Two Waves, on now at The Space.
The main character, Daniel (played by Tomàs Barry) is a neurotic climatologist trying to grapple with influencing the government on climate change, as well as how he can live in this world of crisis.
Overlaid on his climate change quest is a more personal journey.
He meets the outspoken, slightly eccentric Fiona (played by Gintare Smigelskyte).
Fiona comes into his life and makes him question how you live and bring up a family in these times.
Both Mr Barry and Ms Smigelskyte are engrossing on stage and have great chemistry together.
Mr Barry aptly portrays an anguished young man with whirlwind thoughts.
You are right there with him as he doubles over with an anxiety attack.
Ms Smigelskyte's Fiona cajoles, teases and pulls Daniel through their relationship.
It is funny, heart-warming and heartbreaking all at the same time.
There are further supporting roles played by Alice Langrish and William de Coverly.
Mr de Coverly is particularly amusing, playing a loud and over-the-top, obnoxious man.
He hams it up nicely, although he does struggle with a few of his lines which slightly takes away from his impact.
Overall, though, the performances are all very solid.
However, the play's structure lets them down.
It's clear that Daniel is in crisis, just like the Earth.
However, it's not clear in the way the story is told what the outcome is.
It's a story that jumps all over the timeline; there are parts of the play when you're not sure where you are in the story.
It feels quite disjointed.
That may be to reflect the disjointed nature of climate change; however, it doesn't help with the flow of the story.
There are also two parts to the play that just don't add up.
One is around Daniel's sister and how she impacted his life.
I don't think it particularly added anything to the story and seemed to take away from the second, more important element.
This was around raising a family in the current climate.
This felt like it should have had much more focus in the play, but seemed like an afterthought.
So is Between Two Waves worth going to see?
Yes - especially if you're interested in climate change, as it does have some good information on how individuals, scientists, the government and the media are viewing this crisis.
And the performances are worthwhile seeing.
But you may just leave scratching your head about the story!
Links and related content
ActDrop listing for The Space
Our show listing for Between Two Waves
Read our reviews' policy