Psychological drama keeps them guessing to the end - The Leamington Observer

Psychological drama keeps them guessing to the end

Leamington Editorial 8th Nov, 2022   0






Children of the Wolf

Talisman Theatre, Kenilworth


Three very different characters in a locked room in a deserted house all with secrets to hide. We’re in classic psychological thriller territory in the Talisman’s production of John Peacock’s edgy chiller.

The staging is simple with designer Brian Tuck keeping the slightly down-at-heel room empty with only a couple of windows to provide the light.

On such a bare stage and with little else to do but stand around, keeping the tension up over some quite lengthy expositional and interrogatory sections is a tough ask but all three performances show concentration and focus.

Paige Phelps as the younger woman Linda is a convincing 1970s fashionista with a clear sharp edge and an unshifting moral compass by which she judges others. Quite whether her concerns over sexual freedom and female choice resonate with people today is a moot point – society has, we’d like to think, come on a bit in the last fifty years.

A damaged, shy young soul is portrayed by Laurie Weston. Troubled throughout and yet still easily persuaded this is a performance which  does the trick even if the threat level is rarely high.

Perhaps the main focus is the older of the women, tricked into having to revisit memories she’s thought sufficiently tidied away. Dawn Morris manages to cover guilt, fear and resolve in a solid performance.

David Draper’s production is necessarily sparse and, with long stretches of dialogue and little action, it fights valiantly to keep the tension up and the outcome just out of sight.

The twist and the conclusion, when they come, are well-handled but in truth the shock level is more Tales of the Unexpected than modern shocker. That said, plenty will be kept guessing right to the end in a fine production that sits somewhere between outright thriller and retro mystery.

Children of the Wolf runs until Saturday 12th. Visit for more.


Matthew Salisbury





Linda (Paige Phelps) and Robin (Laurie Weston) have plenty to hide in the Talisman’s Children of the Wolf.


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