Eat­ing the Wolf

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENVIRONMENT - by Sarah De­lahunty Di­rected for The Pro­duc­tion Co by Sheri­dan Hickey The Dark Room, Oc­to­ber 8 -10 Re­viewed by Richard Mays

The urge to turn tra­di­tional fairy­tales on their heads and make al­ter­na­tive mis­chief with them is a re­al­tively com­mon one.

It was an urge award-win­ning Kiwi play­wright Sarah De­lahunty couldn’t re­sist when she launched her fem­i­nist take on Red Rid­ing Hood back in 2005. The stereo­typ­i­cal char­ac­ters be­gin in stan­dard enough fash­ion, but when the wolf gets swal­lowed by Red’s grandma, be sure some se­ri­ous revisionism is go­ing down.

Grandma then leads Red astray from the se­cu­rity of her do­mes­ti­cated up­bring­ing to ‘off the path’ en­coun­ters with other fe­male fairy­tale hero­ines. These are ladies who have ‘gone rogue’ to con­trol their own des­tinies, while the wood­cut­ter is chopped down to size as just another knowall male ego try­ing to score.

On a sim­ple set, the cos­tumed ar­che­typal roles were clearly ar­tic­u­lated by the young per­form­ers, though the pro­duc­tion could have done with more light-handed, hu­mor­ous and slap­stick touches.

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