Wolf | Edinburgh Fringe review by Steve Bennett
review star review star review star review half star review blank star

Wolf

Edinburgh Fringe review by Steve Bennett

Conjuring up a cast of dozens and big-budget special effects with nothing more than his own talent and a couple of pound-store bicycle lights, Lewis Doherty recreates a violent film noirish action blockbuster in all its glory. 

The plot concerns a former cop called Wolf who returns to Shadow City – murky name, murky world –  to investigate the death of his former partner. It’s got everything you would expect from a genre movie: fights, car chases, shootouts, corruption… and a cyborg ninja assassin. Wolf is the hard-bitten, hardcore type, able to take out a pursuing car with nothing more than a cigarette butt, who gets drawn into the evil murderous world of a mysterious crime syndicate with friends in high places.

It’s a bit clichéd, that killer mechanoid notwithstanding, but probably has to be, so he doesn’t lose the audience in all the fast-paced action. But his powerhouse performance means that’s never a substantial risk.

Doherty – a former member of talented but relatively overlooked sketch group Laughing Stock – showcases all his skills in holding all this together. He has a precise physicality and a gift for sound effects, proving that all those boyhood games of going ‘pee-ow’, ‘pee-ow’ with an imaginary gun have finally paid off. He’s especially good at the sound of a knife being plunged repeatedly into a squidgy human body, should any foley artists be in the market…

Wolf walks in the physical comedy footsteps of Pyjama Men and Bane, the one-man film noir trilogy that was an Edinburgh hit a few years back. But maybe also the Batman villain, why not?, given the fog of dark menace that covers the action.

This is a tour-de-force of theatrical performance which has the audience transfixed, while displaying a keen attention to detail in evoking each scene. It’s an inventive execution of a highly accurate parody, which is where the creative energy has been invested, rather than in creating too many specific visual gags – a fact that may be worth noting if you’re looking for an out-and-out comedy

But it’s a fine calling card for Dohery’s intense abilities. And with commercial savvy, he’s left the door open for a sequel.

Review date: 11 Aug 2018
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Underbelly Cowgate

What do you think?

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.