Cast: Elinor Randle.

Not all wolves wear fur, some are guised as men and it seems that sometimes a very exceptional woman can be unmasked as the wolf in woman’s clothing.

Wolf Red has to be considered as one of the most remarkable one woman shows to ever grace The Unity Theatre. From the moment the audience walks in and the mist swirls and descends around them, the thought of decomposing leaves and frayed sanity mingle together to reveal on a rotted stump Elinor Randle, hunched over and in the grip of perceived madness from there she delivers one of the most perfect opening monologues possible. It was eerie, certainly creepy and just on this side of exuding brilliance.

Written by Chris Fittock and devised by Tmesis Theatre, the play turns the story of the wolf, befitting of all the dark children’s tales and so called glamour of Hollywood and its interpretations, into what the audience sees and the cycle of madness personified.  The superb Elinor Randle goes from young woman and hiding under a blood red cover to acting out the drama and becoming lost in the rapid cycle of psychosis and psychotic change.

The ability of Elinor Randle to undergo this rapid change was remarkable and in one of the most surreal moments of the play, Elinor becomes the embodiment of female servitude by putting on a short blonde wig and starting to manically dust every possible crevice to magnificently placed A Women’s Touch by Doris Day. It needed no explanation to understand the psychosis on show but Elinor portrayed these little moments with a touch of genuine class and just the right amount of lunacy to make any male audience member run a million miles in any direction.

Unusually for a one person production, the action on stage never stopped, when Elinor wasn’t delivering the incredible lines, dire warnings and tales of the wolf, which wouldn’t have been out of place in the 1984 film The Company of Wolves, she was dancing and scrabbling around like a demon possessed. So energetic was Elinor on stage; that the panting she was doing was not just consigned to the thought of the wolf within.

Wolf Red is a very incredible piece of theatrical art, simply breathtaking and one of the defining moments of physical theatre.

Ian D. Hall