Venue: Chippen Street Theatre (Chippendale NSW), Oct 20 – 29, 2022
Playwright: Wajdi Mouawad (translation by Shelley Tepperman)
Director: Anna Jahjah
Cast: Lucas Connolly, Kirsty Jordan, Cassady Maddox, Neil Modra, Adeeb Razzouk, Antoine Razzouk, Gerry Sont, Anthony White
Images by Mansoor Noor
In Wajdi Mouawad’s Tideline, we watch Wilfred carry the corpse of his dead father, through their ancestral lands, trying to find an appropriate burial plot. It is an abstract odyssey that we embark on, as Wilfred meets other people who contribute stories about their own dead fathers, through which we learn about legacies and the reverberations of those legacies, on people and places.
Mouawad’s writing is witty, with a spiritedness that director Anna Jahjah translates effectively for the stage. Some sections of the presentation can feel overly ambiguous with what they try to express, but we reach a satisfying conclusion nonetheless, where a poignancy takes hold, almost unexpectantly.
Actor Adeeb Razzouk is an earnest Wilfred, but also able to deliver comedic aspects when opportunities present themselves. Neil Modra’s conviction as the dead father, ensures that the show communicates logically, and the emotional intensity with which he approaches later scenes, helps us connect with the moving ideas of Tideline.
There’s probably nothing that makes us think more about life, than the death of someone close. In Tideline, it may even seem that it is the departure of a parent with whom one experiences conflict, that can really drive home a point, about existence. People are flawed, and they have children. Reconciling the fact that one will be failed, possibly repeatedly, by their own parents, is a big lesson to learn, but one that is entirely liberating.