Little Red And The Big Bad Wolf, Theatre Review. Unity Theatre, Liverpool. (2018).

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * *

Cast: Liz Jadav, Simone Lewis, Harvey Robinson, Luca Rutherford.

BSL Interpreter: Kate Labno.

We all warn our children about straying from the path provided, to not deviate, keep close at all times, and even though we understand they have to make their own way in the world. We also have the responsibility to make sure that they don’t get hurt, become embroiled and hang with the wrong crowd, that they, unlike Little Red, find fascination with the wolf who wears its fur with pride, who has the smooth pick up line and casual interesting manner.

The Christmas offering of Little Red and the Big Bad Wolf at the Unity Theatre in 2016 was one of the stand-out productions of the year, a play that captured the hearts of those that had the foresight to attend the show, regardless of being young or young at heart, no matter whether they had strayed and danced and played games with the big bad wolf before. That pulling in of magical enjoyment was down to the cast and direction being so accessible, a pleasing tale and yet one carrying a tremendous important tale of morality in the modern world; a message that not everything you think is evil and bad is out of spite, it is just the nature of the beast to be hungry.

For two nights only, Little Red and the Big Bad Wolf, directed by Nina Hajiyianni and Kevin Dyer, superbly signed by Katie Labno and given the wondrous atmospheric and beautifully whimsical lighting design by Julie Kearney, has made its way back to its spiritual home of the Unity Theatre and it is a play that has lost none of its bite or passion in the intervening year.

With Liz Jadav joining the team, the production was seamless, the wolf howling and carrying his banjo through the wood was once again hitting the high notes and in Simone Lewis, Harvey Robinson and Luca Rutherford, this tight knit band of players once again took to the stage in Liverpool and became part of the audience’s reason for delight, that the despairing January rain, for a couple of hours could be forgotten, could be banished and the appreciation for well presented theatre for all ages could be embraced.

Little Red and the Big Bad Wolf may have been the howling success in 2016 but as 2018 starts up from its winter depths, the play finds itself being once again nothing short of a high water mark for Liverpool theatre.

Ian D. Hall