The Sound of Waiting

2018 - Shortlisted


Judges' comments

Hamid battles for himself and his daughter in a small boat en route to Australia. He is besieged by the Angel of Death but the Angel's job is not to enquire, it is to take. Mary Anne Butler’s epic dramatic poem is a moving examination of the plight of so many who try to come to this country when they have no other option. It is powerful theatre-as-ritual about family, love and the desire for a future far away from horror.

This is an exquisite and often brutal folk tale, told with wonderful language that is at once luscious, savage, corrosive, pulsating with action and yet also graced with high lyrical poise and astonishing beauty. It is immediate and timeless stagewriting, rendering a familiar landscape bright and fresh. The play is alarmingly present and spiked through with lightness and moments of pure Aussie humour. The Sound of Waiting is an utterly compelling work that takes your breath away almost unbearably.