Father Nandru & The Wolves Take Over Wilton’s Music Hall

Jonathan Stone as Father Nandru. Photo by Stephanie Wolff.

Jonathan Stone as Father Nandru. Photo by Stephanie Wolff.

In the depths of a forest in Transylvania, poor Father Nandru is having a bad day. The girl with the lop-sided face has eloped with a gipsy, the government is threatening to tear down the village – and the bottle of plum brandy is nearly empty. Clearly, the old priest is in no fit state to deal with the giant wolves that are prowling around his church and padding ever closer.

Writer-director Julian Glover blends real life actors with oversized puppets, which glide through the barley sugar columns and crumbling walls of this gorgeously atmospheric venue. Wilton’s is, as ever, the perfect place for this kind of off-key fairy tale, allowing the strange story to escape the stage and filter through the building, with a live gipsy band and Eastern European hors d’oeuvres at the bar.

Artistic director Frances Mayhew continues to impress with her innovative and refined programming and the in-house talents of Filippo de Capitani and his team make every visit to London’s oldest music hall a delight. On this occasion the visionary set design by Hanne Horte-Garner and the gaggle of exquisite puppets will also leave you spellbound.

A village of Transylvanian puppets. Photo by Stephanie Wolff.

A village of Transylvanian puppets. Photo by Stephanie Wolff.

Whether ‘Father Nandru and the Wolves’ is a show for children is uncertain – the plot does take its time and the Romanian flavour may be an unusual taste for kids used to more sugary American fare. Though judging from the howls and wolf whistles at the end of last night’s show, this dreamy neo-realist fable will bring out the big kid in anyone.

Father Nandru & The Wolves is on at Wilton’s Music Hall until 18 April 2014.

Londonist saw this play on a complimentary ticket.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

stu

Article by Stu Black | 124 Articles | View Profile | Twitter

  • Louis

    I was really looking forward to seeing this but I have to say we were all really disappointed. The acting was great as were the puppets and wolves but the story was poor..

  • Stephen Locke

    I agree with Louis. The show really lacked pace, especially in the first half, and the music and staging seemed a bit amateurish and under-rehearsed. It felt more like a work in progress. It was a pity, because the basic idea was a good one, and the venue, as ever, was looking lovely.

    • Richard Lewis

      the night I went the audience were having a great time and so was I

  • Paul

    Well I had a good night out and thought it was a good show, you don’t go to Wilton’s for a Disney experience. It was moody, evocative and will have me dreaming and remembering the imagery when I least expect it.

    • Richard Lewis

      I rather agree with Paul, the production had so much to offer and the puppet performances were delightful