Theatre Review – The Wolf from the Door

Lauren went to see The Wolf from the Door at the Royal Court in London: 

London’s Royal Court theatre‘s current season is focused entirely upon the subject of revolution. The opening play to the season is ‘The Wolf from the Door’ by Rory Mullarkey.


The narrative is driven by the middle-aged aristocrat, Catherine (played by Anna Chancellor) and her curious pairing with Leo, a homeless boy (played by Calvin Demba) who it initially seems she is attracted to. After an awkward exchange on a station platform that leads to Catherine taking him home, it becomes clear that she does want Leo, however, not in the way it is first assumed; Catherine is, instead, planning a countrywide revolution – and Leo is the boy she has chosen to be the face of her uprising.


As the play progresses, and the first act of violence takes place (in a local Tesco, in which the assistant manager is beheaded by Leo) the audience come to understand the extent of this planned revolution and the reasoning behind it. Much of the dark comedy elements come from this contrast of the ‘silent majority’ being unsatisfied; the various hobby club members, ladies who lunch and even members of the choir equipping themselves with all manner of weaponry from samurai swords to AK47s in order to fight the establishments that are causing middle England so much misery.


There are a total of 16 acts in the play, most of them provocative, and generally quite funny, if not entirely eccentric. The later acts seem to lose some of the power and steam, however, which was present in the first few. Nevertheless, Anna Chancellor is charming in her role, as is Calvin Demba with his vulnerable yet brutal character.

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