Ottawa Event Review: “The Wolves” by Theatre Kraken

For the next week and a half, The Gladstone Theatre is hosting Theatre Kraken ‘s presentation of “The Wolves”. This unique performance focuses on a teenage girls’ soccer team as they prepare for each of their indoor games. The show takes place somewhere in middle America, and the simple set is made up of the AstroTurf commonly found in indoor sports domes. The entire show consists of the girls interacting with one another while preparing for each upcoming game. These girls encounter many of the trials and tribulations that a typical teenaged girl may face during this challenging period in their lives. Topics include: relationships, drinking, puberty-related changes, eating disorders, pregnancy, and even death.

 

 

The dialogue throughout this performance is relatable and feels totally natural! The banter among the girls flows so smoothly, you’d never guess that it was scripted. Each actor portrayed their role perfectly, making it easy to identify with them and what they were going through. The use of humour, while sometimes crude, is spot-on and hilarious. As the story progresses, the emotions do as well, and the girls’ reactions when faced with a major incident is touching and very powerful. I can’t say enough about how each of these girls portrayed their respective character, but true to form for my reviews, I will select a few that really stood out.

 

Standout Performances:

This entire cast did a phenomenal job, which always makes it difficult to single out standout performances. However, the following actors really took this show to the next level, and made it incredible!

Tara Paterson as #7:

Paterson’s portrayal of outspoken #7 made her one to watch throughout the entire show. She has an electric energy about her that commands the stage. Paterson comes across as a seasoned pro, and her strong performance in this show, where the depth of emotion would have challenged any actor, was spectacular. Fantastic performance!

Robin Hodge as #00:

Hodge, although quiet in the first half of the play, blew me away during her emotional breakdown scene. Alone on the stage, she held the audience captivated as her character processed a hugely emotional event. I could physically feel her pain. Hodge is incredibly gifted, and I hope to see her in many shows to come! She is also ridiculously strong as is demonstrated a few times with high impact push ups using a soccer ball, and a series of burpees leading up to her emotional breakdown.

Kiara Cote as #46:

Cote was delightful in this role! She portrayed the quirky #46 perfectly, stealing the scene on many occasions. She had the audience laughing throughout, and was clearly a crowd favourite! Her talent is especially impressive given that she is the youngest cast member, and was performing with some exceptionally talented women. Kudos on a great performance!

Special COG-wife Standout Performance Pick!

My wife accompanied me to this show, and although she agrees with the standout performances, her personal favourite in this show was Olivia Piercey as #13, whom she found to be both adorable and hilarious.

 

 

As mentioned, the set was AstroTurf….and that’s basically all. It was very simple, and it created the perfect setting, not taking away from the performers themselves. The props were equally simple and complimented the set and story perfectly. Technically, the sound and lights were also excellent. The musical interludes between scenes were particularly enjoyable.

 

 

I really enjoyed this show. It’s an appropriate length, running about an hour and 45 minutes including the intermission, and it never once felt like it was dragging, or that there was filler used to extend the time. It’s very easy to relate to these girls, and it’s entertaining and emotional to follow the story. I highly recommend this incredible show! You’ll laugh, you may cry, and you will leave with a renewed appreciation for the difficulties that young people face these days. Tickets are only $40 for adults, $36 for seniors, and $24 for students. “The Wolves” runs until February 8th.

Photo Cred: Andrew Alexander

 

 

My tip before going to the show: Make sure you know what a yurt is. 😊

 

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