Featuring one of the best ‘wait … what?!’ plot twists I’ve encountered in a theatre in recent memory, UK writer Isley Lynn’s The Swell imparts a neck-snapping spin to its decades-spanning story of a queer love triangle.

Three women; Bel, Annie and Flo. Bel and Annie are deep in love and are planning to tie the knot. The free-spirited Flo, pro-surfer and party gal, is paying a visit and, true to form, proves quite the wrecking ball. She doesn’t hang around to observe the consequences of her actions which, for Bel and Annie, are beyond profound.

Julia Bell, Alexandra Keddie, Monique Salle in The Swell. Photo © Phil Erbacher

Fast forward 28 years and Flo appears again, this time in the seaside village where Annie and a partially disabled Bel have established an isolated new life together. Flo wants to make amends, it seems, but there’s a big surprise in store, one that cuts to the heart of her identity while posing a fascinating moral conundrum: is it OK to live a lie if it brings about happiness and security?

Directed by Julia Billington for Sydney indie company Akimbo + Co, an...