The seldom-seen world of teenage women is brought to life in a blast of wildly energetic ensemble acting from nine courageous young actors in Silo's production of Sarah DeLappe's Pulitzer Prize-nominated play.
The Wolves brilliantly captures the flippant nature of teenage conversations with half-finished sentences, random spikes of emotion and the carelessly unfiltered attitude that is usually hidden from nosey adults.
Without being an emotionally draining in-your-face piece of theatre, the play offers a revealing glimpse into some heavy topics. Abortion, body autonomy, anxieties, death, immigration and being gay are crammed together with tampon jokes, boy-talk and some funny locker room banter - like when the team don't understand the home-schooled girl lives in a yurt, not a yogurt.
Director Sophie Roberts harnesses the energy of the ensemble, many of whom are making their professional debut, with slick, clean choreography and makes good use of Ruby Read's immersive set design.
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The different personalities complement each other amazingly, creating a cheeky on-stage dynamic that made a 26-year-old who has never played soccer feel like part of the team. There is sharp tension between the passionate team captain (Maia Baillie) and sassy striker (Alex King) while the comedic out-bursts from Miriana McGechie play against the steady, well-spoken presence of Queenie Samuel.
My cousin, Siana Vagana, establishes the strength of a silent goalie navigating mental health issues. Tatum Warren-Ngata neatly captures the intensity of teenage mood-swings and Theo Keane delivers a subtle but powerful performance confronting the blurred understandings of situations involving consent. Akinehi Munroe nails the painful dynamic between inclusion and exclusion, while Aisling Baker makes us feel the hidden torments of dealing with eating disorders.
The way the cast switch between heightened states of emotion and humorous conversations about trivial things, beautifully expresses the complexities of female friendship.
What: The Wolves
Where & When: Q Theatre, Loft until July 19.
Reviewed by: Kolopa Simei-Barton