Warning – you will be in tears of laughter for large parts of this play. I won’t lie to you, I lost my shit at the team’s re-enactment of the landing of the ‘Mongol’ hordes. It is so many levels of hysterical I just can’t even.
The Yellow Wave is based on an Australian novel published in 1895 by Kenneth MacKay. It recants a story, an oft repeated story, of the fear nations and people have of ‘immigrant waves’. At the time, Britain was busy repelling an attack by Russia on India and Australia was left terrified that an Asiatic wave would descend upon our defenceless shores (sound familiar…).
Beng Oh, an expert at deconstructing classic texts, does an incredible job of adapting this multi-continent saga to The Butterfly Club’s stage. The two key actors, Keith Brockett and John Marc Desengano, pull off Toni Collette-United States of Tara, style performances with each playing 20 characters between them. There was even a brief flash of ‘gimmie’. I can’t tell you which character was my favourite, but each was a cacophony of entertainment and portrayed with vibrancy through each actor.
The play is ably narrated by Andrea McCannon but with the range of characters, range of scenes and general hilarity you will be lost through bits and pieces. The roaring applause of the crowd post-show confirmed that everyone enjoyed it just as much as I did. I am contemplating buying the book, but surely it can’t be as entertaining as the play!
The Yellow Wave runs until 29 November 2015 at The Butterfly Club – sessions and times can be found here.