Kate Herbert is theatre reviewer, Herald Sun, Melbourne & formerly for Melbourne Times. Kate is a director; produced playwright (21 plays). Scripts pub. Currency Press. She worked as actor, comedian, improviser & teacher of Acting, Improvisation & Playwriting. Kate was Head of Drama/Teacher, NMIT; Coordinator of Prof. Writing/ Editing, Swinburne Uni. Read her reviews here or: www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts. NB Explorer Browser doesn't always work on blog.
Saturday, 11 January 2014
Big Bad Wolf, Jan 11, 2014 ***1/2
Windmill Theatre, presented by Melbourne Theatre Company MTC Lawler Theatre, until
Jan 25, 2014 Reviewer: Kate Herbert on Jan 11 Stars:***1/2 Review also published in Herald Sun on Friday, Jan 17, 2014. KH
L-R Emma J Hawkins Patrick Graham, Photo by Tony Lewis.
It’s hard to make friends at the best of times
but, when you’re a big, bad wolf, it is must be like pulling teeth – or canine
In Big Bad Wolf, Matthew Whittet’s play, Wolfy (Patrick Graham) is the antithesis of the fearsome,
fairytale wolf that huffs and puffs or eats Grandma in a single gulp.
Graham’s Wolfy is a goofy, naive and very lonely Vegemitarian
who writes poetry, likes “peoples” and doesn’t ever eat them, despite the
wishes of his authoritarian mother-wolfmaster (Kate Cheel).
However, every person and animal in Alarmville runs screaming
when they see Wolfy, so he has no friends – except for a non-wolfist,
performing flea – until he meets equally friendless Heidi Hood (Emma J.
The simple message for the audience of children
over 5 is not to judge people by their outward appearances because, even if
people look different, they can still be your friends.
Heidi and Wolfy’s friendship develops secretly
to avoid criticism and alarm in the village but, finally, they join forces to
win the town poetry tournament and Heidi introduces Wolfy, the talented poet
and pacifist, to the people.
Graham successfully plays Wolfy as a sympathetic, gentle and
oafish clown with a peculiar German accent and childlike playfulness.
Hawkins is feisty and athletic as Heidi Hood, a distant cousin
of Red Riding Hood, and charms the children with her celebratory dance and
Kate Cheel courageously depicts all other
characters including the narrator, TV newsreader, a fluffy bunny puppet, the
invisible flea, a talking couch and a tree, but her range of character voices
and her comic skills are limited.
Whittet’s writing is sometimes a little lacklustre,
but Big Bad Wolf is chirpy, warm entertainment for littlies.
By Kate Herbert
Patrick Graham (Wolfy)
Kate Cheel (Narrator, Couch, Rabbit, Grandmaster Wolf, TV
Reporter, Tree, Flea)
Emma J Hawkins (Heidi Hood)
Director Rosemary Myers
Designer Jonathon Oxlade
Lighting Designer Chris Petridis
Movement Carol Wellman
Sound Designer Harry
L-R Patrick Graham, Kate Cheel, Emma J Hawkins. Photo by Tony Lewis