Big Bad Wolf

23 January 2014 | 12:03 pm | Sharona Lin

Big Bad Wolf isn’t a play for those who don’t have younger siblings or children, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be snoozing while the kids giggle at Wolfy and Heidi’s antics.

Big Bad Wolf is a short and sweet story about how looks can be deceiving, and how words can be used to build bridges and friendships, as well as just to have fun. Writer Matthew Whittet and director Rosemary Myers turn the classic fairy tale on its head – the wolf here just wants to make friends, while the little girl is sharp-witted, intelligent and strong.

Full of physicality and cheekiness, Big Bad Wolf is fun and light-hearted. Emma J Hawkins' character Heidi Hood's capers are particularly inspired, which isn't surprising considering actor Hawkins is also a circus performer. As a short actor, she contrasts brilliantly with the much taller and bigger Patrick Graham (the poetry-writing vegematarian Wolfy), who throws her around like she's weightless. Wolfy's gags, however, mostly revolve around his accent (vaguely German, although Wolfy says it's because his fangs make speaking awkward) and his fluttery demeanour. Often resembling a pantomime – especially when Heidi and Wolfy (in disguise as Heidi's grandmother) sit in the audience, or when Wolfy asks the audience where Heidi is hiding – Big Bad Wolf isn't a play for those who don't have younger siblings or children, but that doesn't mean you'll be snoozing while the kids giggle at Wolfy and Heidi's antics.

The Lawler, Southbank Theatre to 25 Jan