HAMPSTEAD DOWNSTAIRS / CELIA ATKIN PRESENT
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY CHÉ WALKER
Running time: 1 hour and 20 minutes without an interval
My eyes turn yellow. Fur springing out all over me and the fangs snapping out from my gums…
13 Apr - 7 May 2022
Box Office: 020 7722 9301
★★★★ 'An indelible portrait of a lost soul. An extraordinary piece, beautifully performed.' The Times
★★★★ 'The play carries devastating and seismic power... Something new, exciting and dangerous, with an utterly arresting performance.' Guardian
★★★★★ 'Landmark theatre, with a performance of the highest order. Extraordinary... Compelling... Sheer Excellence. Do not miss it.' Broadway World
★★★★ 'Gutsy and subversive...suggests warm touches of humanity in the unlikeliest places.' WhatsOnStage
★★★★ 'This is a brilliant and delicately devised play... with a masterclass performance by Clare Latham.' London Theatre Reviews
★★★★ 'A haunting monologue that embraces epic events, with a stellar turn from Clare Latham' Helen Hawkins, ArtsDesk
'Wolf Cub is well and truly a play for our times' London Unattached
1980s, America. Teenage Maxine has teenage problems. There’s moving from the Rural Southern states to Urban Los Angeles with her booze-sodden Dad, there’s high school, boys, drugs, murder, Nicaraguan Contras, CIA, the LA uprising, the Northridge Earthquake... Not for the faint-hearted or Ronald Reagan. Blazing through a turbulent coming of age, and now trapped in a country sick with injustice, Maxine's eyes are yellow, her hands are claws and she has a howl desperate for release…
Blending poetic beauty with brutal honesty, Wolf Cub is a visceral odyssey written and directed by Ché Walker, performed by Clare Latham.
Ché Walker makes his Hampstead debut. Previous writing credits include The Frontline and The Lightning Child (both Shakespeare’s Globe), Fleshwound (Royal Court) and Been So Long (Netflix). Previous directing credits include Been So Long (Young Vic), Klook’s Last Stand (Park Theatre), The Glory of Living (Battersea Arts) and Macbeth (Southwark Playhouse).
Clare Latham performs in her first Hampstead production. Previous credits include Fairview (Soho Rep/Theatre For A New Audience, Off Broadway), Danny and the Deep Blue Sea and A Parable (both Southwark Playhouse), plus Blue Surge and Don’t Smoke In Bed (both Finborough). Television work includes Mr Robot and Suspicion.
Our promise to you
In the event of Wolf Cub being postponed, you can choose between a full refund or credit to be used for any show at Hampstead.
Hampstead Theatre is delighted to open Wolf Cub following Government advice. As always, our audience, company and staff are our top priority. For more information about how we’re keeping you safe, please click here.
We present entertaining and original theatre, and we want you to have the best experience possible. We understand that, as part of this, some audience members may appreciate additional guidance on the content of our plays. Click here for more information.
An Audio Flyer is available for this production. This is a pre-recorded introduction describing the set, characters and costumes.
Click here to listen to Wolf Cub Audio Flyer
'This phantasmagorical monologue — beautifully delivered by the American actress Clare Latham — is much more than the sum of its ideological parts. Walker has created an indelible portrait of an indestructible lost soul, a feral young woman who survives a bleak childhood in rural Georgia, runs wild at high school in California, becomes entangled in drug dealing and goes on an odyssey to central America before returning to Los Angeles in time for the Rodney King trial and the latest earthquake.'
'Walker’s poetic writing and Latham’s intensity make it compelling. Young Maxine prowls Amy Jane Cook’s set — a buckled shard of freeway framed by a shattered LA road sign'
'It’s a wild, incantatory travelogue, like an Angela Carter novella with lethal weapons and a touch of American Gothic.'
'Walker’s direction is tight and cool, however. Sheila Atim supplies fragments of spookily effective music, while John Leonard’s sound design and Bethany Gupwell’s lighting evoke the turmoil inside the heroine’s head.'
Read the full review here
Clive Davis, 14 April, 2022
'The play, small in itself, carries its own devastating and seismic power.'
'Claire Latham is utterly arresting... she holds us breathless over the course of the play, which is performed straight through and gathers a compulsive momentum. Her story is partly an angered growl against the world’s iniquities but also a reclaiming of sorts – a need to describe her pain but also narrate the gleaming moments of love and joy.'
'Ché Walker, writer and director, manages to make it intimate and epic and his script is rich and literary without being florid. Sheila Atim composes the music and with Bethany Gupwell’s lighting and John Leonard’s sound design, builds a strong atmosphere. Latham speaks from the nooks and crannies of Amy Jane Cook’s scorched-earth set'
'She has an animal femininity reminiscent of Angela Carter’s wolf women whose skins are licked off to reveal fur beneath, and there are also echoes of Clarissa Pinkola Estés’s Women Who Run With the Wolves.'
'This fairytale element is combined with the grit and gore of the story’s southern gothic and together it creates a heady effect. If the lockdowns turned the monologue into an overfamiliar form, Wolf Cub remoulds it into something new, exciting and dangerous again.'
Read the full review here
Arifa Akbar, 14 April, 2022
'Sometimes, but not very often, one sits in an audience and one doesn't just see, one feels, with a shiver, the awesome power of theatre - that is what Wolf Cub does to you.'
'Ché Walker, on writing and directing duties, has created a prose poem that uses pyrotechnic language (there's one star-bursting metaphor after another, dazzling similes piled on top of each other, extraordinary scenes of violence and tenderness)'
'Catching this theatrical lightning in a bottle, American actress, Clare Latham, prowls the space, girlish one moment, hard-edged the next, never a victim, but never completely in charge of her own destiny. This is a performance of the highest order'
'The 100 minute monologue zips by, the story of Maxine's life indelibly printed on our minds. On the way home, I wondered if the show, well, experience, was an illusion, because such subject matter can be gruelling, exacting its price on our emotions - but there was no sense of exhaustion in me. Any such fatigue was held at bay by my wonder at the corralling of theatre's unique storytelling weapons to lull us into something that isn't submission, more a wide-eyed astonishment that the familiar can be raised to something different by sheer excellence. It was as if we were repeatedly seeing that first shaft of sunlight after a storm.'
Read full review here.
Gary Naylor, 14 April, 2022
London Theatre Reviews
'Walker has crafted a dark and disturbing play that holds no punches when it comes to detail but remarkably is packed with humour and highly engaging.'
'No wonder Ché Walker persuaded Latham to come across the pond to join this production; she is sensational. Being the only actor in a play is, of course, a challenge but Latham made it look easy. She effortlessly moved between characters with pacing and delivery that is exquisite.'
'Accompanying the performance was some stellar design work from Amy Jane Cook... It is rare to see a studio piece with such high calibre work'
'Walker, Latham and company have seriously delivered in the Hampstead Theatre Downstairs, and for 80 minutes, they had an audience captivated. This is a brilliant and delicately devised play that is particularly perfect if you are looking to branch out into seeing smaller-scale shows that still pack a punch - trust me, you are in safe hands with this one.'
Read full review here.
Henry Longstaff , 14 April, 2022
WRITER AND DIRECTOR
AMY JANE COOK
Thank you to Martin Lighting at Stage Sound Technology.
First five performances: All tickets £5
Performances thereafter: £20
Seniors*: £12 (matinee only)
Under 30s and Students: £10
CONTENT WARNINGS - WOLF CUB
The play contains strong language.
The play contains references to violence, including violence against children and gun violence.
The play contains themes of alcoholism and drug addiction.
The play contains scenes of a sexual nature.