Hamed, fleeing his war-torn county, encounters one difficulty after another when a malevolent Angel of Death is determined to undermine his escape. The action of The Sound of Waiting is a clash of wills that is for the most part mesmerizing, with playwright Mary Anne Butler’s work infused with poetic prose.

The story is told jointly by an Angel of Death, and Hamed. The Angel is a curious figure and not at all invincible as it turns out. This Angel speaks at the outset of the space between sea and sky as an elusive and mystical place, only open to a lucky few. Hamed is hoping to enter that space – any space really, away from the chaos of the country that he fled. His journey is an arduous one and fraught with peril, his escape from a bomb blast was one of sheer serendipity as he bent to tie his daughter’s shoelace, his wife and son were not so lucky.

Sheer gossamer-like curtains encircle the foreground of the stage and are pulled back at last as Hamed lands in Indonesia. It is a defining moment, revealing but transitory, as Indonesia is a gateway to places like Australia and New Zealand, then the action drives on.

The writing, while engaging, strays into cliché a few times, but overall is moving. Acting by Reza Momenzada and Gabrielle Scawthorn convincingly teases out the complexities of the story, though we are firmly in Momenzada’s corner as Hamed. Director Suzanne Pereira has effectively drawn the provocative story without censure of either viewpoint and allows the audience to form their own conclusion.

The ongoing projection throughout by Samuel James was simply stunning and also equally evocative as the beautiful sound by Tegan Nicholls. The shimmer on the late night seascape increased the sense of desolation and reminded me of the phrase ‘Water from the moon’, which is coincidentally an Indonesian phrase that means ‘that which is unattainable’. Perhaps also a prophecy for Hamed? Will the new home that he is seeking be possible?

For that you must see for yourself, The Sound of Waiting is on at the Eternity Theatre Darlinghurst until 22 April, for more information and tickets see: http://www.darlinghursttheatre.com/whats-on/the-sound-of-waiting

Featuring: Reza Mmonezada and Gabrielle Scawthorn.

Creative/Tech Team: Mary Anne Butler (writer), Suzanne Pereira (director), Samuel James (video artist & screen design), Tegan Nicholss (composer and soud design), Christopher Page (lighting design), Gayda de Mesa (stage manager), Natasha Hughes (wardrobe supervisor), Thomas Pidd (set construction) and Richard Whitehouse (technician).

above image by Phil Erbacher

This Month in Sydney

18 Oct - 4 Nov
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Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi, the world’s largest annual free-to-the-public outdoor sculpture exhibition celebrates its 22nd anniversary this year, returning to the spectacular Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk from 18 October – 4 November.

The iconic exhibition will see the coastline transformed into a two kilometre long sculpture park over three weeks featuring 100 sculptures by artists from Australia and across the world.

Aqualand proudly returns for its third year as Principal Sponsor, along with the prestigious Aqualand Sculpture Award, which has increased to AUD70,000 in 2018 and will be awarded to an exhibiting artist whose sculpture will be gifted for permanent public enjoyment in Sydney.

In 2017, Aqualand’s sponsorship was renewed for an additional five years and is the most significant in the exhibition’s history, continuing to support the growth of the iconic Bondi exhibition.

As one of Sydney’s most beloved and photographed events, Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi attracts over 500,000 visitors over the course of 18 days and signals the beginning of summer in Sydney.