Words Glenn Blomfield
A middle aged man reviewing ‘The Wolves’ a play about an adolescent girls indoor soccer team seems a mild stretch, listening to their locker room banter and views on life. Straightaway there seems to be a gap between myself and the play, but pleasantly this happily dissapates. Whether the age of seventeen or mid forties, we are of philosophical similar age, the conflict of thoughts, searching for understanding, confused, etc. Only difference of course is I am male, and my pubescent trait runs different to that of the opposite sex.
Although I believe perception is a human quality, we can all connect with the young person inside us. The script is written by American playwright Sarah Delappe, her debut play The Wolves already lauded in her early career with as a nominated Pulitzer Prize Finalist. The Wolves playing at the Q Theatre, is an intimate setting, it’s simple layout, stage set with artificial grass, midfield line soccer field markings down the middle. The audience terraced seated on either side, the audience is also separated from the stage by soccer nets to save us from loose flying soccer balls.
Things kick off with eight girls, all kitted up warming up on stage going through their stretches. We learn their characters through their banter, talking over each other, and fighting for their say. Like a pack of wolves, they are stronger together, and weaker on their own, or have to prove themselves to be of worth to the pack. The play requires young actors having to give strong character work, for the majority of the actors this is there theatre debut. They all do great work, the writing is of the strength that helps give strong portrayal and performances. Each Act starts off pre game with them going through their stretches and warm up drills, so you get learning skills in stretching to take home with you also.
“So take time out and watch a girls soccer team give meaning and social conscience to life.”
The Wolves is a fabulous and rewarding play, it covers many topics, and emotional challenging themes. You feel it’s emotional push at the end, a powerful performance given by Toni Potter, as a Soccer mum is one highlight. There is plenty to connect with in the play, even for this middle aged reviewer.So take time out and watch a girls soccer team give meaning and social conscience to life. Wolves will win you over its really scores high. Great to see young female acting talent give strong challenging performances, they are all stand outs, the wolf pack dominates the stage.