It’s a packed house for Wolf. The human elements of this interactive production are given their instructions as they are led into the Caves, in Edinburgh's Old Town. How to react if a wolf approaches, how they might be attracted by jewellery, bags, food. A pretty girl takes off her necklace in a forlorn attempt to look less striking - less like Little Red Riding Hood I think, but resist telling her.
The Caves are dark and redolent with earthy, musky incense. As the audience find places to stand around the walls the wolves appear from the shadows. They sniff and snuffle, wary of us as we are of them. Frightened because they see themselves in us. They have stories to explore –their own, ours, legends, myths and truths. They have heard a good one recently, that they might be reintroduced into the wild.
We are led on a journey looking at the interactions between wolf and human and whether, beneath the skin, there are similarities too. The wolves are among us, nuzzling, nipping, yipping and yapping as they perform in song and poetic words almost shamanistic rites, reminiscent of Native American culture. Occasionally the narrative of these is less clear but it’s sufficient to lose yourself in the beautiful words of Ian Finlay Macleod.
From Fenrir of Norse mythology to Freud’s Wolf Man dream analysis we run with the pack. While we will never fully inhabit the wolves’ world we share the primal part. Hunger, fear, lust. “You smell gorgeous”, utters a lupine human. “She tasted delicious”, opines a wolf. And it would appear that some of the audience members feel the pull more than others as they are drawn into the circle. But are we ready to live along side them?
Finally we face the new moon with a howl – of last mournful farewell or heralding return?
While not for everyone, it’s cleverly done and if you like your theatre dark and dangerous, sensual and sexy, mystical and myth-full, then snap up a ticket.
5-29 (not 17) August 2010, 12.15pm
£8.50 (£7.50) and £9.50 (£8.50) 13-15, 20-22, 27-29