Wildheart & Lyric
Wolf Meat is an irreverent, wickedly funny tale, set in Grandma’s Croydon drugs den.
This compelling show from Wildheart & Lyric brings slapstick, absurdist humour and live music to a world of dirty deals and mistaken identity. The production is constantly deconstructed as the actors drop in and out of role and plot, taking audience interaction to an outrageous level.
Wolf Meat is back in Brighton after their stint at The Marlborough Theatre last year. I loved it then, and they’ve not disappointed this time either. The Bosco Theatre is home this time round and from the moment the doors open you feel the benefits of this circus like performance space as it draws you in to the action and ensures your involvement – whether you want to or not!
The action begins with Wolfie giving you a taster of his geekish appeal before his Grandmother reveals herself in the tiered seating and makes her way slowly to the stripped down performance area.
Grandma’s facial expressions had me giggling from the off and her explanatory asides to the audience brought a kinship that added to the production rather than detracting from it – the 4th wall divide being dismissed as an unnecessary nuisance and the magical art of theatre explained at every turn. Dawn Taylor brought a light hearted butchness to proceedings, countered by the feminine charms of her undercover temptress Red, whilst Wolfie’s sister-come-serf Luna had just the right level of quirkiness to balance proceedings. There were a multitude of characters whose boots were filled by the four strong troop (not including Grandma’s long suffering husband who managed the lighting and sound) which enabled the debauched narrative to whistle along at an agreeable pace before climaxing in a Tarantino-esque gun fight. I laughed and laughed and laughed.
The story isn’t hard to digest and more staid theatre goers might have felt it lacked a polished finish but then they’d be missing the point here completely. Wolf Meat is about having fun, both with the performance, with theatrical convention, as well as the audience, and its dark silliness drags you into their world to revel fully in it. It’s about pure enjoyment on a not-so-sophisticated (or meta and rather clever, up to you..) level but one that had me leaving with the opinion that for all their tomfoolery the Wildheart’s team had polished this wonderful piece up to a serious sheen yet still worked incredibly hard to entertain us – and isn’t that ultimately what the fringe is all about.
That and a drug dealing Grandma with the best gurns this side of Croydon, obviously.
If you get the chance to see this curious, dedicated and talented comedy troupe then you’ll not be disappointed. Check out their website for their up and coming shows.
Oliver Harrison – Wolfie
Mella Faye Punchard – Grandmother
Kate Grace Cooper – Dawn / Red
Carla Espinoza – Luna