We meet nine young women who play for their school soccer team in American suburbia, assumedly safe in their community and protected from the hardships of the world.
These women are navigating their way into the next chapter of their lives and through this particular year of high school, their worlds change – through wins, losses, and life’s curveballs – consequently encouraging a stronger team bond than they ever could have imagined.
The cast as a whole – is incredibly dynamic. The physicality and synchronicity in movement and dialogue is brilliantly fluid, natural and alive, like we are at times witnessing an actual soccer team interacting, warming up and getting ready to play. Sarah Meacham as #13 was enigmatic, unpredictable and a total joy to watch. Meacham brought an underlying tension on stage that was never really explored through dialogue, but presented in such a way – where the audience was drawn in, not quite knowing what she will do next. The only character we meet outside of the team is one of the players mothers, portrayed by Renee Lim – who gives a heartbreakingly beautiful monologue – reminding all the young women why they have to stay in the game, play to win, and support each other, regardless.
The characters in this play are a delight – personalities that have influence either directly or indirectly on each other throughout the play. Some characters are written perhaps more complex than others, some characters are not unlike real life but familiarly presented in American drama – for example – the religious girl, the tomboy, the introvert, the cookie cutter sweetheart, the new quirky kid on the block, the girl who is more sexually confident than the others. Though all played in this production beautifully and sincerely, the characters presented by playwright DeLappe and the storyline overall – is not an unfamiliar tale, or anything exceptionally new or groundbreaking to an audience. Still, entertaining and a feeling play all the same.
The highlight of this production is the incredibly talented all female cast, directed with obvious precision and heart by Jessica Arthur. Their is a sisterhood in the cast that is palpable and by the end of the show, audience is moved from laughter to tears having been fully transported on the journey of these effectual women.
The Wolves is on until 3 March at Belvoir St Theatre
Featuring: Brenna Harding, Emma Harvie, Chika Ikogwe, Renee Lim, Sarah Meacham, Sofia Nolan, Michelle Ny, Cece Peters, Nikita Waldron, Nadia Zwecker
Creative/Tech Team: Sarah DeLappe (writer), Jessica Arthur (director), Maya Keys (set design), Veronique Benett (lighting design), Clemence Williams (composer and sound design), Mandela Mathia (soccer coach), Jennifer White (dialect coach), Kieren Smith (stage manager), and Vanessa Martin (assistant stage manager)
For more information and tickets see: https://belvoir.com.au/productions/the-wolves/