Wolf Whistle
Playwright: Joanna Alpern
****

Wolf Whistle, written by Joanna Alpern, revolves around three women: Becca (Cate Kelly) a sassy schoolgirl obsessed with her sexuality, Clare (Laura Ferguson) a motherly yet childless bus driver, and Amanda (Coco Claxton), an uptight wannabe medic who devotes her life to studying.

The venue consisted of a small, snug stage with simple and understated props to avoid clutter. The play could equally have worked well on a slightly larger stage, which would have allowed for more movement. The costumes, like the props, were unassuming and fitted the characters appropriately. Notably, Clare’s costume and make-up made her look plain and tired, which matched her character perfectly.

At first glance the three characters seem to be polar opposites, besides one linking factor: they have all missed their periods. As their stories unfold, however, more similarities emerge. For example, Becca and Amanda are clearly alike in the way they both want to be appreciated, the former sexually and the latter intellectually.

There was no weak link in the trio, with each actor commanding loud laughs and awed silences. Becca and Amanda grasped the audience’s attention from the offset, which was fitting as ‘attention’ is the subject of the two characters’ obsession. Clare’s quieter personality did not bag the limelight from the get-go, but the audience immediately sympathises with her. She is a kindly woman who takes her job seriously and above all else wants to please people. Cracks soon appear in this façade, however, and her true character is exposed. This, it turns out, is an insecure woman who dreams of having a child but is denied it by her so-called husband.

Clare is not the only character who is not what she seems. In fact, all three women are shown to put up pretences and, as the play progresses and their characters are developed, their true natures are revealed. The final and most marked metamorphosis occurs when the women find out the reason behind their missed periods.

Clare, Becca and Amanda end up being turned on their heads, transforming into the opposite of what they originally appeared to be. The shy and demure bus driver becomes bold. Insecurities are revealed in the outwardly all-confident schoolgirl, and the orderly Amanda is turns out to be a mess.

The play is a cocktail of comedy and tragedy, which makes for a bittersweet end with a glimmer of hope that the women will overcome their difficulties and change for the better. All in all, a witty and thoughtful script producing a first-class piece of theatre.

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