Alice Mary Cooper and Critical Stages Touring

Written & Performed by – Alice Mary Cooper

Directed by – Gill Robertson

Dramaturg – Naomi O’Kelly

Production Design – Lisa Sangster

Sound Design – Danny Krass

An extraordinary tale of a life fully lived

Waves is the not-so-true story of Elizabeth Moncello – a 1930’s pioneer whose days spent growing up on the Victoria’s small Gabo Island led her to become the unofficial inventor of the Butterfly Stroke.

Alice Mary Cooper’s intimate theatrical event combines highly expressive storytelling, delicate movement and splashes of humour to tell Elizabeth’s amazing tale of a life fully lived.

Waves follows the story of Alice, a care worker in an Edinburgh hospice who meets Liz as an older woman. Over ‘many cups of tea’, Alice learns of how Liz, the daughter of immigrants, taught herself to swim by watching and copying the fish, penguins and dolphins around Gabo Island.

It is a moving and entertaining solo piece about having an idea and the courage, drive and desire to follow it through – to swim against the tide of history and expectations to achieve something that is truly incredible.

Come meet the real Little Mermaid.

Available to Tour



Theatre, Solo Theatre


Recommended for ages 8+


45 minutes
No interval

Venue Format

Theatre, Hall, Black Box Venue
Recommended for smaller-scale venues

Previous Seasons

Edinburgh International Children’s Festival
Fringe World Festival, Perth
Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Brighton Fringe
Campden People’s Theatre, London
New Zealand International Festival
Auckland Arts Festival
plus tours of Scotland, Northern Ireland & Republic of Ireland.

Selling Points and Audience

Will appeal to audiences 8 to 80 with an interest in historical fiction, storytelling, women’s history, and sport & swimming.

Great appeal for schools.

A contemporary and empowering migrant story from a female perspective.

Fantastic 5 and 4 Star reviews from around the world!

What People Are Saying

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐  Fringe Guru

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐  New Zealand Herald

⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Captivating” The List

⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Something truly beautiful” Broadway Baby

⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Fifty glorious minutes… imperceptibly crafted, cleverly told tale with its feel-good twists” Tom Dibdin, AllEdinburghTheatre.com

“A beautiful example of how storytelling can grip an audience from start to finish. Alice Mary Cooper entrances us in a fantastic tale about the hidden strengths we all possess.” Tony Reekie, Festival Director, Imaginate

Audience Engagement

Schools & Aged Care

The work has particular appeal for schools seeking activities for their history, English and drama programs. Due to the work’s initial setting in an aged care community and nostalgic feel it has been popular with ageing festivals and events. Dementia-friendly and relaxed performances are available.

Post or Pre-Show Engagement

Alice would be happy to meet the audience after the show for either a cup of tea (in keeping with the many cups of Earl Grey drunk in the show!) or something stronger. Alice is also happy to offer a post show Q & A and be part of a post show Photo Booth. Alice has been part of a very successful ‘show and High tea’ at venues and would be happy to do so again.

Kids Dress Up Performances

With the sea and ‘original little mermaid’ focus there is opportunity to present a dress-up show for ages 8-12 that encourage coming as their favourite sea creature.

Swim & Show 

Have a local swimming venue that could become a performance hub for one afternoon/evening. Poolside or clubhouse shows are a possibility.

About Alice Mary Cooper

Alice Mary Cooper is a theatre maker, actor and clown originally from Sydney, Australia.  She makes performances for all ages that are highly physical with a strong character focus. She is passionate about sustainability and creating work that has the environment at its heart. Alice creates theatre that is imaginative, thoughtful and daring. She seeks to tell stories that speak challenging truths about ourselves and our world, reconnect audiences to themselves, their communities and environments and provoke dialogue and change toward more sustainable futures. Following a Bachelor of Creative Arts Degree (Melbourne University), Alice trained at L’Ecole Philippe Gaulier (Paris) and was then Resident Artist at Shopfront Contemporary Arts (Sydney).