Windmill Theatre Company. The Space. Adelaide Festival Centre. 11 Oct 2017
He’s back - and not a moment too soon.
The Big Bad Wolf is one of wonderful Windmill’s most interesting and endearing characters and his show returns in perfect time to surprise a new brood of children.
He might be big but as writer Matthew Whittet has created him, this bad wolf is a twisted fairy tale character who is utterly vulnerable. His big bad canine teeth have given him a speech impediment and no, frightened white bunny darting behind that tree, he does not to eat rabbit. He’s a “vegemetarian”. Not only but also, he’s a poet and terrible a disappointment to his ferocious wolf mother.
So he lives alone. All he wants is a friend.
Heidi Hood wants one, too. She’s a tiny woman, dressed in Red Riding Hood red and she lives in a meltingly cute doll’s house cottage in the woods, little dormer bedroom upstairs and fussy, homely downstairs dominated by her talking armchair. She’s nervous so the house is equipped with wolf alarms.
If Patrick Graham is adorable as the marginalised wolf, twinkle-toed Emma J. Hawkins is utterly sublime as Heidi. Her light-footed athleticism is a beauty to behold. The children are bewitched.
Heidi is as accomplished as she is lonely and if she wins just one more award, a planet will be named after her. A poetry competition is announced but the dancing champion is not so good with rhyme. Until she meets Wolfie.
And thus unfolds a tale of friendships against type, of words and love and loyalty.
Matilda Bailey completes the cast and weaves the story together playing the narrator, Grandmaster Wolf, Wolfie’s first friend, the Flea from Cincinnati, Heidi's talking couch, and a TV reporter. She pops out in assorted costumes from Jonathon Oxlade’s terrific woodland set. Wolfie’s towering talking tree is standout, literally.
This gem of a revival, directed by Rosemary Myers, has a short season at The Space and should not be missed.
When: 11 to 21 Oct
Where: The Space