Play review by Julia Pattison: The Boy Who Cried Wolf at The Studio, York Theatre Royal

The Boy Who Cried Wolf is a quality children's play that deserves to be a howling success. Photo courtesy of Brian Slater.
The Boy Who Cried Wolf is a quality children's play that deserves to be a howling success. Photo courtesy of Brian Slater.

Children’s Theatre: The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Venue: The Studio, York Theatre Royal

Dates: Until Saturday, October 12

Review by: Julia Pattison

I last reviewed this enchanting family show back in 2013, and was delighted to review it again.

Adapted by playwright Mike Kenny, The Boy Who Cried Wolf focused on a young boy Silas (Alex Wingfield) who lived with his mother (Florence Russell) and his Grandfather (Guido Garcia Lueches) and was most dissatisfied with his life in an isolated village at the bottom of a valley. Mike had his own unique take on this famous Aesop’s fable and Silas eventually learned to be a better boy rather than suffer the grim fate of the boy in the original story, and the result is a beautiful new wintry tale and a yarn well spun.

The Studio was just the right space for such a yarn; Hannah Sibai’s set design was a magical Scandinavian winter wonderland which included white trees covered in colourful woollen decorations.

As usual, various props were cleverly hidden away, this time in over-sized bobbins, ready to add to the awe and wonder created on stage.

The gifted trio of actor musicians played the main characters of the fable, but also effortlessly morphed into funny sheep and scary wolves throughout the story, as well as acting as narrators. The actors were spot on with their portrayal of the wolves; sinister, but not too scary for the young audience members, with the use of red lighting and ominous music for short spells allowing the children to be scared in a safe environment and cuddle up to a comforting adult, then the next minute be giggling with glee at the silly sheep antics and lively dance numbers; quality direction from Wendy Harris who clearly understands young children.

I loved this production as much as my young grandchildren; we were all enchanted by the story, and the characters, from Florence Russell’s “mithered mother” portrayal, Guido Garcia Lueches’s charismatic Grandfather, to Alex Wingfield’s sulky, but so identifiable Silas.

We joined in with the Clickety Click song and thoroughly enjoyed the interaction with the cast who brought this tale so wonderfully to life.

A quality children’s play that deserves to be a howling success.

Some tickets are still available, but hurry!