BY CHARLIE GUALTIERI
You wouldn’t think seventy-five minutes staring at two men not saying a word in a shed would be classed as entertainment. Yet with the hand of a wonderfully made set, a fantastic script and the lovely Tom Lyall and Jamie Wood to bring it to life; Longwave made a fantastic and surprisingly touching watch.
This comedy play is having its own kind of comeback tour (its first tour being in 2006) after winning the house recommission award last year. The LPAC’s auditorium was far from full as the small audience filed in to the sound of what would have been classed as futuristic music in the 70’s.
Before the show began I had a few minutes to acquaint myself with the beautifully detailed yet pragmatic set, right down to the dirty tennis ball under the table and the used fire extinguisher.
There is no dialogue in the play between the two characters, but instead there is background music, the trusty old wireless radio playing and plenty of impeccably timed body language. The latter in particular contributes to the wry and occasionally silly comedy that leaves plenty of space for the audience to get to know the characters in a more serious and personal way.
There are some truly touching moments from the two men as we get to see the small glimmers of their inner selves, and what life was to them beyond and before the shed.
The time period which Longwave is meant to be set in is unclear, it appears post-apocalyptic with the two scientists stuck in the time capsule that is the shed, in the middle of a wasteland. The play’s heavy reliance upon props in the scene around them allows parts of each individual character to be revealed.
Even though the play was only created in 2006, it has a very aged feel. This to the audience can either make it appear charmingly old fashioned, or, in 2014, it can appear very (for a lack of a real word) hipster-y. The beards, patterned wooly hats and braces could potentially distract and audience from the whimsical nature of each carefully placed item.
If you can look beyond the old-fashioned explorer outfits – that for some reason appear to match the look of the modern day hipster – this play is one with two delicate hearts at the center and a wealthy appetite for visual comedy, a wonderful watch.