Pros: There is always something that is a joy to watch unfold.
Cons: The narration was perhaps not very gracefully worked into the script, but this is nit picking.
Joan Aiken’s The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, adapted for the stage by Russ Tunney is a classic children’s adventure: two orphans, Sylvia and Bonnie, (has anyone not imagined the adventures being an orphan would supposedly have freed them up to have?) abandoned in a mansion in the snowy countryside, find themselves in the care of Miss Slighcarp and Mr Grimshaw, two people of dubious character who do not have their duty of care as a priority. Adventure and hilarity ensues.
The plot is simple, so all there is for an audience member to do is kick back and enjoy the ride. All the actors were wonderful, but a man who wears a fabulous dress so stylishly always has to get a special mention. Adam Elliot performed Miss Slighcarp with a sneer of his lip and a swish of his satin and was a delight to watch from beginning to end. The production has everything theatre can offer: story, song, puppetry (the wolves!), dance, physical comedy and laughs. Lots and lots of laughs.
Like The Railway Children, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase is one of those wholesome staples of childhood reading that translates so easily to stage it might have been written for it anyway. You can see the care that has gone into putting this show together, and everyone involved ought to be proud.
The Wolves is an absolute howl; atmospheric and cleverly designed, and well worth a visit to the Jack Studio Theatre while it’s there. Perfect holiday fare!
Author: Joan Aiken
Adapted by: Russ Tunney
Artistic Director: Kate Bannister
Booking Link: http://www.brockleyjack.co.uk/portfolio/the-wolves-of-willoughby-chase/
Booking Until: This show has now completed its run.