Situated within the mid-Southern sky, the Lupus constellation consists of over 120 stars, it’s latin name translating as ‘wolf’. A component of Ché Walker‘s new work Wolf Cub, the allegorical tale of a divided, turbulent 80s and 90s America couldn’t be anymore prevalent, the show tying in the spiritual with a rugged, grounded reality – resulting in an incredibly resonant work exploring issues of race, class, politics, mental health, family and womanhood.
As the wolf fends for its survival, a fearsome, dominant creature at the top of the food chain, so does Maxine, a young teen from a volatile household in search of stability, in whatever form that takes. We observe Maxine’s continual search for external validation, the ripple effect of her strained relationship with her father the catalyst for what events lay ahead, this case study a chaotic, complex reality to watch play out. Maxine becoming increasingly more resilient to the conflicts around her, doing whatever it takes to get by – a timeline of her life the core of her many speeches that root the evening.
Walker directs an empowered work, one where Maxine navigates a complex social and political climate not in her favour, determining her fate. Clare Latham is dynamic as Maxine, from childhood to teenage-hood – we see through her eyes, from learning to hunt and stargaze from a young age, to being swept up into a world of crime to make ends meet in her later years. Atop Amy Jane Cook‘s scene grabbing disintegrated Los Angeles road sign, and earthquake ridden road staging, Latham delivers an energetic monologue rich with history and circumstance. Bethany Gupwell‘s orange tinted lighting the show’s fiery underbelly, the hazy smoky undertone one reminding us of the riots and turbulence indicative of the time period. Wolf Cub an observant take a young woman’s struggle to survive.
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
Wolf Cub is currently showing until Saturday 7th May 2022 at the Hampstead Theatre. To find out more about the production, visit here…