NUTS’ new production, Wolf Lullaby, is a powerhouse play that’ll leave you stunned both in awe and in an intrinsic state of fear. Directors Kat Carrington and Anna Miley have transformed Hilary Bell’s original work into a deeply personal and confronting piece of theatre, which the audience will never want to look away from. The small yet deeply talented cast successfully communicate their character’s inner struggle and grasp their seemingly untouchable situation, pulling the audience in on an almost instinctual basis of nonsensical anxiety and knee-jerk reactions to pure and raw emotion. When you see this play, not only will you be transfixed by the performances and simple yet solemnly touching effects, but you will experience many chills run down your spine as you witness the psychological unravelling of the individuals in front of you.
Although at times difficult to find the balance between the superficiality of the norms of everyday social interaction with the underlying context, as in what you’re supposed to talk about and what you’re not supposed to, the cast still ably portrays the looming dangers of the unspoken. The wolf is an unquestionable force in itself, luring the audience, through the logical irrationality of his presence, as he will equally ‘swallow’ you as he does Lizzie. When you see the red stage and looming abrasive shadows, and hear Lizzie’s blood-curdling screams, you too will be transfixed and possessed by the forces of the dark.
This paired with the dissection of the suburban human psyche, and how one could possibly understand the happenings leading to the murder in the town, equally baffles as it does depict a simple mental spectrum of multidimensional forces. The plot tests the abilities of human understanding, and the marvellous acting will escort you through the thrilling yet understated dimensions of the production, as you will investigate alongside Sergeant Ray, struggle with Angela and Warren, and with Lizzie, remember why you were so scared of the dark as a kid.
Wolf Lullaby by Hilary Bell is on til the 2nd of May at the Drama Lab, ANU Arts Centre. Tickets are available from wolflullabynuts.getqpay.com from the 20th of April at 5pm and are $20 for an adult, $15 concession and $12.50 VIP member.