Review: Shewolves. Neville Studio. Nottingham Playhouse

Written by Sarah Middleton and developed in consultation with young women for teenage audiences, Shewolves proves to be a very funny and sometimes poignant hit at Nottingham Playhouse’s Neville Studio this evening and interestingly the audience are mostly made up of older people in their forties and fifties.

Shewolves is centred around the lives of two fourteen year-old girls from Derby (big howl for the city of my birth!) Priya (Gurjot Dhaliwal) and Lou (Harriet Waters). Shewolves takes us on their disparate experiences as they become unlikely mates with more in common than they initially think – things much deeper than a mutual love of Pop Tarts. Lou gets into serious trouble at school for her passions for Swedish activist Greta Thunberg and Lou’s own environmental activism and Priya begs to move in with her due to problems at home and a desire to skive school.

There are plenty of original funny lines throughout the seventy-five minute show, all of which are expertly delivered by the brilliantly energetic and likable cast in their colourful ski suits. Even some sound effects are funny as at one point Lou’s alarm goes off and it shouts “Wake up! The world is still burning!” The duo’s comic timing is honed to sweet perfection in this imaginative coming-of-age story.

As Lou and Priya attempt to put their worlds and The World to rights, Hannah Stone’s inventive and tight direction guarantees the audience a chance to sit back and relax while the multiple stage stories enfold and we learn about the two school outcasts’ rocky road of life to empowerment in the wilds of Derbyshire. Charlotte Henerey set designs allow our imaginations full reign and the whole joyous theatrical effects are enhanced with Anna Readyhoff’s lighting design and Eleanor Isherwood’s sound design.

Shewolves is about sisterhood, protest and forging friendships when you are a bit weird.’ Optimistically, it is also about the power of hope and most importantly the underestimated smartness of teenagers in peril. As the audience’ older demographic tonight proves – you don’t have to be a teenager to enjoy Shewolves but perhaps it will remind you of your own teenage years and maybe that you were braver than you thought at the time. Pop Tart anyone?

‘Highly enjoyable, inspiring, uplifting and thought provoking.’

Shewolves is currently on tour. Check out these tour dates. It could be coming to a theatre near you.

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