Rokeby Road. Picture: Michael Wilson/The West Australian

The tide rolled through Subiaco last night, carrying with it a wave of emotional stories about private lives in public places.

Rokeby Road was abuzz with a crowd of about 2000 people, the maximum allowed at any one time into the retail strip closed to traffic between Roberts Road and Hay Street for La Marea (The Tide).

Mannequins seemed to come to life in store windows as actors played out nine short scenes dealing with relationships and personal concerns, each one lasting just 10 minutes and repeated 10 times.

Directed by Argentinean Mariano Pensotti, La Marea used subtitles on screens to reveal the characters' inner thoughts or past lives, such as the young man trying to summon the courage to talk to a woman browsing in a bookshop.

Parental advisory warnings prevail for some scenes with strong language, adult themes and sexual references. One confronting segment involved a man slowly crawling down Rokeby Road after a serious motorcycle accident.

One young couple broke the theatrical convention by moving out of one vignette to cross the road and engage in a protracted passionate kiss that never seemed to end.

La Marea continues from 8pm each night until Sunday.

The West Australian

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