cotton wool panic

Tonight I went and saw Ian Meadow’s Between Two Waves at Griffin Theatre. It was bleak and beautiful; indeed, much more can be said for it except that one mome

nt made all else fade into the background for me, like the snake-fuzzy hiss of bad radio


The protagonist has high anxiety about the general malaise of man and his destruction of the world, which is compounded in one scene by his inability to explain to ‘the girl’ that he had meant to call but his own social awkwardness had rendered him incapable of action. She proceeds to rant/rave around stage, blissfully unaware of his rising panic, until he is brought to his knees with an anxiety attack, choking and spluttering apologies about his behaviour. The girl begins to photograph him, which only exacerbates his terror (watching him I could feel my own lungs filling with cotton wool stuffed hysteria).

Something breaks through, though – she finally sees him. And what does she do? She kneels down in front of him, takes his face between her hands and gently kisses his mouth. She keeps his lips on hers, having panic-air blown into her own lungs until his chest-heaves slowly even out.

She literally swallowed his panic.

And they just sat there, their lips glued together, as the lights slowly faded around them.

Theatre, right? Fuck.

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