In North-Western Canada in the late 1800's, a young tribal girl is taken in and cared for by an old huntsman. Years later the girl, Lyzbet Scott, has grown into a feisty teenager struggling to find the correct path within the often cruel world. Making friends with an abandoned wolf pup, she endeavours to discover her true identity whilst keeping those around her safe. The story, written by Jethro Compton and inspired by Jack London's novel of the same name, is detailed and thrives with it's mature themes of sexuality, race and identity.
The set consists of wooden panels and swathes of fur, wonderfully resembling a cosy cabin in the winter, yet is somewhat ruined by a large uninspiring beige curtain running across the width of the stage. The curtain oddly trembles throughout (I can only hope this isn't meant to happen). The ensemble beautifully sing soft lullaby's whilst transitioning from scene to scene, which is the only saving grace to the clunky awkward scene changes with prolonged blackouts.
The wolf, 'White Fang', is puppeteered by the ensemble to a basic standard, with simple movements and little attention to detail. It doesn't carry much weight, often floating across the stage. Mariska Ariya plays central character Lyzbet Scott simply and subtly, yet similarly to the wolf, lacks weight and ferocity. With direction from Jethro Compton, the emotion of the character is also lacking in key scenes. The gut wrenching scenes call for explosive and raw emotion, but all we receive is an underplayed, quiet composure. Bebe Sanders fails to make bold choices as quirky character Curly, and often falls into the same rhythm as Ariya when the pair are in a scene together, hindering the pace of the piece. The piece as a whole lacks a certain amount of imagination and surprise, and therefore becomes boring. Simply exploring more as an ensemble could create more innovative and unique visuals. - Faye Butler