The Back Loft
In the tradition of The Lord of the Flies and Cat’s Eye, The Wave tells a story of adolescent cruelty and group dynamics. In an effort to discipline an unruly class into preparing for an Honours History paper, the exasperated Mr Quinn resorts to tactics used in Nazi Youth camps. First terrorizing his class about their parents, “Poor, poor, poor, and staying that way” he then points them towards the possible solution – “Strength through community, Strength through discipline.” Accompanied by a hand salute and a marked improvement in their learning, this soon becomes the group’s motto.
From classroom banter to nervous tics, fixations and obsessions, the group of young people are utterly convincing and entertaining, every detail making their sinister descent more believable. Yet when called out of their reverie to take stock of their actions, no milk of human kindness is called upon to shame them, but only the rather weak book of “school rules”. Furthermore, Mr Quinn’s methods seemed to be effective, leaving this audience member worried that with the end of The Wave, so came the end of their prospects for Honours History…