On the way to Big Bad Wolf, five-year-old Ella and I talked about what we thought it was going to be about. She thought there’d be huffing and puffing and little pigs, I thought there’d be nannas and little red hoods, and we were both worried that it might be a little bit scary.
Turns out that we were both a bit right and wrong. Wolfy (Patrick Graham) loves peoples, doesn’t eat other animals and would really like some friends. He meets a friendly flea, but there’s over achiever Heidi Hood (Emma Hawkins) and her wolf alarm to contend with and his wolf mum (Kate Cheel, who’s also the narrator, a TV and the puppeteer) isn’t keen on her boy’s love of making up poems and befriending wolf-hating peoples.
With twists on traditional tales, this new story about friendship (by Matthew Whittet and Adelaide’s Windmill Theatre) is utterly enchanting and the grown ups loved it as much as the kids who let them come with them.
Or, as Ella said to me when we finished clapping, “Actually, that was a very good movie. No, story. What is it?” “A play.” Big Bad Wolf is a perfect first play. It’s even a teeny tiny bit scary, but only for a moment.
And to read the best reviews, there’s a tree in the foyer with lots of blank leaves for little critics to write and draw on. There are drawings of Wolfy and the likes of “thanks for the show”, “awesome”, “Wolftastic” and “I thingk Wolfy was the best”. I thingk so, too.