ABSOLUT Fringe 2012 | The Wave | Red Bear Productions
Star Rating: 3/5
Venue: The Back Loft
Review by: Chelsea Morgan Hoffmann
In a nutshell: A teacher tries to show his students how the Nazis managed to gain control by instilling a mini-fascist regime in his classroom - but his control on the situation turns out to be tenuous
Best for: Fans of youth theatre
Not for: Fans of subtlety
The lasting questions from the horrors of the Holocaust are how and why. How could this go on without anyone doing anything or knowing fully about it? Why did people sit idly by and choose not to see what was happening? These are nearly impossible to answer, and they arguably should be - an explanation is a step toward validation.
In The Wave, Mr. Quinn is frustrated by his students' lack of empathy after his lesson on The Holocaust, but is mostly struck by the above questions, which he had no answer for. So he instils new discilpinary measures in his classroom based on the Nazi Youth. By drilling in precision in how they enter the room and answer questions, granting them a motto - "Strength Through Discipline, Strength Through Community", and emphasizing that they have the ability to be better than their parents and peers if they apply themselves with the utmost discipline, the students slowly but surely embrace the community and begin to take it out of the classroom - and when they fall into a mob to torment students who disagree with "The Wave", Mr. Quinn realizes he has lost control of his experiment.
The bones of The Wave are compelling - the problem with this production is it's broadness. While some of the young cast show a keen understanding of intimate performances, others were far too hammy - something that might work in another setting, but with the audience practically on stage it could stand to be brought down a few notches. Similarly, the script could due with a bit of nuancing - it fairly bangs you over the head with the "LOOK HOW EASILY THIS HAPPENS" theme. And the last moment - which I won't give away, just in case - is the worst offender of the lot.
That all being said, I must be honest - there was a moment when Mr. Quinn had the students chanting their motto that I felt a little goosebumpy. And the flash of Abu Ghraib imagery during the scene of adolescent torture was chilling and well executed.
There is a nugget of something here - but needs to be heavily refined.
Story by EI Team | 09:00 | Thursday 20th September 2012 | Theatre
No comments have been posted for this article yet. Be the first!
Log in to leave a comment
The opinions expressed here are those of the viewer and do not reflect those of Entertainment.ie. Entertainment.ie accepts no responsibility, legal or otherwise, for their accuracy of content. Please contact us to report abusive content