Every Seventh Wave: A Review

“Beware the seventh wave…sometimes it breaks free, flows in another direction” – Emmi Rothner

David Tennant and Emilia Fox reprise their roles as internet correspondents Leo Leike and Emmi Rothner in Every Seventh Wave, the sequel to the 2012 BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Love Virtually.

After the catastrophic non-meeting at the conclusion of Love Virtually Leo has fled to Boston and cut off all contact with Emmi. Still, Emmi is persistent and after a year manages to elicit a response from him and they resume their email relationship. But things have changed. Leo, initially at least, is reluctant to be drawn back in; moreover he is now in a relationship with a woman, Pamela, whom he met in Boston and who is coming to move in with him. Leo wants to conclude their relationship, feeling that they no longer have a future and should simply cherish what they had. Emmi, however, is still awaiting her conclusion and to this end the couple finally agree to meet for the first time.

Love Virtually explored the question of whether two people could fall in love without ever meeting. In Every Seventh Wave Emmi and Leo add a new facet to their relationship – they now have to balance the ‘Illusion of Perfection’ that each held about the other with the reality of physically knowing them, even if that reality proves equally as attractive. Both apparently have a path to happiness clearly signposted ahead of them: Emmi can work on her marriage while Leo seems to have found bliss with his attractive American girlfriend. Yet both cannot let the other go, even though they debate whether their escalating communication and their obvious feelings for one another constitutes cheating on their respective partners.

The epistolary text of the novel is brought to sparkling life by two accomplished vocal performers. There are no scenes as such, so we rely completely on both actors to reassure us of the reality of events that take place offline. Compared to the versions of Emmi and Leo that we meet in the preceding drama, both seem more restrained, but then the characters have been wounded by the events that almost terminated their friendship, and Tennant and Fox underpin their performances with an air of caution born of this. Fox as Emmi is still seductive, persuasive and teasing, but angry and jealous too, angry at Leo for leaving and replacing her, angry at both of the men in her life for colluding against her. Tennant as Leo is in turns world weary, anxious and closed up or sensual and yearning, and once hovering on the brink of tears, uncertain how to reconcile the new love in his life with his renewed feelings for Emmi. The pace of the drama is brisk as the tide of passion grows once again between Leo and Emmi, and as the exchanges fly back and forth between them, it seems only to have been a matter of minutes from their opening reunion before we are all swept towards the inevitable concluding decisions.

“A wave broke free…changing everything” – Leo Leike

The plot turns on big events as errant waves crash over the lives of both participants, causing diversions, confusion and frustration. But the question remains: will the seventh wave ultimately throw Leo and Emmi together or will it drive them apart? They both have the means to have their happy ending – but who will that be with?

Every Seventh Wave was adapted from the novel by Daniel Glattauer by Eileen Horne and was produced for Pacificus by Clive Brill for BBC Radio 4.

Listen to Every Seventh Wave here


Post a Comment