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New Zealand Premiere Season


9 March – 18 March
Loft, Q Theatre
Barnett Hall, Piha
Artworks, Waiheke

Waves, making its New Zealand debut in March 2016, is the story of young Aussie Elizabeth Moncello, a daughter of immigrants and the unofficial inventor of the famous butterfly stroke which she debuted at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Elizabeth has a watertight reason for learning to swim and a school of fish, penguins and other amphibian friends to teach her how. Her determination, wit and courage help her defy the tide of expectation and discover her hidden strengths.

An intimate theatrical event, Waves is set in present day Edinburgh and 1930s Australia. It combines highly expressive storytelling, delicate movement and splashes of humour to tell Elizabeth’s amazing tale of a life fully lived. At its heart is the theme of innovation and creating an altertative history of things we take for granted – in this case the butterfly stroke.

Directed by Gill Robertson and produced by Louise Gilmour Wills of Catherine Wheels, the theatrical force behind the delightful White and The Ballad of Pondlife McGurk, this “immaculately nuanced” (Rip it Up, Adelaide) piece of storytelling has beguiled audiences from eight to 80+.

Let the wonder of Waves wash over you.

Waves creator and performer Mary Alice Cooper studied at Ecole Philippe Gaulier, Paris and has worked in theatre in Spain, Australia and the UK. Now based in Edinburgh, Alice grew up in Sydney, where she was a resident at Shopfront Contemporary Arts, an ensemble member at PACT and a mentor in ATYP’s First Draft writing program.

Originally starting life as a short story, Waves is influenced by Cooper’s own love of swimming and, moreover, by doing laps in a pool called the Fanny Durack in her hometown.


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