When Lucy hears wolves in the walls of her house, she urges her family to believe her but they think its mice, bats or rats. Her parents and brother all respond by telling her “when the wolves come out of the walls, it's all over. Everybody knows that!” However, it is far from over when these wolves come out of the walls and evict the family, leaving them to cower in fear at the end of their garden. While they all contemplate where to move to in order to escape the wolves, Lucy bravely rises to the challenge and together they battle the wolves and reclaim their home.

This is a “puppet-infested production” masterminded and adapted by Toby Olié, from the original novel by Neil Gaiman. It is skilfully performed by Matthew Churcher, Elisa De Grey, Michael Fowkes and Katie Haygarth, with intricate manipulations of their puppets to form a realistic image before the audiences’ eyes. The body language of the puppets perfectly imitates that of a human character and prompts our imaginations to fill in the gaps, creating a lifelike performance. Despite the stage actors swapping between puppets and narrating, it is very easy to follow due to a good relationship between the puppets and the actors.

Expertly directed by Toby Olié, the use of shadows in this production is incredibly clever, using screens and torches to show what occurs within the walls of the house. With minimal props, the cast were shifting our perspective with the mere adjustment of the four on stage screens to show movement within the house. The use of humour is subtle and witty throughout, allowing for moments of laughter within the dark and daunting atmosphere.

Despite the plot being rather basic, it is carried out incredibly well and is entertaining for all viewers. The short length of this piece makes it far more suitable for the attention span of the younger audience it was aimed at (age 7-adult) and keeps the simple story-line entertaining for adults. However, the intricate details and inconspicuous humour can be appreciated far more by older viewers, as the jokes might be beyond children's understanding and the transitions tricky to follow. At times, the loud and aggressive howling of the wolves is intended to create a chaotic atmosphere but was perhaps too frightening for the youngsters, who needed to be comforted by their parents.

The Lighting design by Matt Daw is brilliant and adds a whole new dynamic to every scene without drawing too much attention, due to the smooth and seamless transitions. The production wouldn’t be complete without the effects of the appropriate lighting and shadow play. A personal favourite moment was the colourful, flashing lights of Lucy’s brother’s video game, which brought the moment to life.

Furthermore, the sound effects are well-suited and polish off the performance; the particularly lifelike and impressive sounds come from the actors themselves, especially with the wolves. The original songs by Adam Pleeth and Carl Grose come at fitting times, however, they feel clunky and disjointed, with a lack of repeating melody or rhyme at most points.

Overall this production is unique, fulfilling and highly impressive.

By Yasmin Burt