Tuesday, April 23

The Wolves – The Space Theatre

The one act play is a coming of age drama of a young American Female soccer team. Set around the gossip and warm up banter of nine adolescent female athletes it puts in spotlight issues of mental health, abortion, consent, teamwork and  grief. The actors who have recently graduated from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts have set up Orange Peel productions following the success of their graduation shows. The play reflects the spunky energy of The Space Theatre (Isle of Dogs) is aligned very well with the production and the actors’ energy lends it to be as big as a football pitch and as tiny as a player’s mind.

The Physical theatre that combines choreography, dialogue and authentic performances by each of the actresses is very moving. Though the beginning felt like a heady garble of many conversations, the players contain the entire show unobstructed by the male gaze. The play is centered on the women’s voices, experiences, friendships and we definitely need more productions to reflect on this theme. The light lends an aesthetic hand to the group choreography. With some expert directing the players interact with their coach, cheering spectators and talent scouts off stage. The music interludes have raised the tempo, providing space for chargin, grief, and competitiveness and athleticism. The chorus is set to rock music at times and sometimes popular pop music has much resonance. The resounding chanting anthem stays with you long after you leave the theatre.

The original play, ‘The wolves’, started to be written by DeLapp in 2014. ‘She was moved by the dichotomy of sympathy vs. empathy: the way Americans reacted with pity to the way of life in the Middle East and North Africa, yet how they also made no effort to enact change’. and I would love to see how the politics of 2023 would affect an all female soccer team other than a mention of Instagram, what would the ‘black lives matter’ and the draconian trans policies in America / UK affect the team dynamics.

Wishing the wolves team many packs to lead and tournaments to win. Excited to see how far and wide this production will travel and especially how the team weathers time and politics of staying together.

Reviewer: Anisha Pucadyil

Reviewed: 9th March 2023

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★