Barri worries about whether she'll ever matter, Sam feels that everything he "touches turns to shit", and darkness has come to the world. In her attic room Barri is safe but alone. But then she meets Sam… and finds that sometimes, you have to grab adventure by the hand and run before you can truly shine.
Six months ago the sky went dark; the moon and the stars are gone. Barri leads a quiet life, looking after her grandmother, listening to old records, and researching conspiracy theories about a huge black beast. But the pattern of her life is interrupted when Sam climbs in through a broken window. He is running, hiding, on an adventure; but most of all he tells an interesting story, which is why Barri (with her Gran's encouragement) joins him journeying North.
The room we’re packed into is cluttered and close: perched up a small staircase, it’s a perfect reflection of the small chambers, cramped caves and black woods where our voyagers take shelter. The three actors work well to utilise the tiny space, though there are a few moments of distracting darting across the stage and a little too much delivering lines to the wall. The third cast member, who plays everyone but Sam and Barri, also serves as the storyteller and even the techie; the light and sound does a superbly subtle job in setting the scenes, but he could be clearer in differentiating between the narrator and the separate characters he plays.
The narration style is interesting, with an external voice providing humour and background to the characters’ own tales. But as the storytelling moves from inner monologue, to voice-over, to humorous asides, it tends to bring the audience out of the action rather than into it. It would work if this were a fireside tale – with just the storyteller and the audience – but here it suffers from trying to tell rather than show the transformations the journey provokes in the two adventurers. It also gives the feeling that the piece can't decide between dark tale and rom-com, which is a shame, because when the humour was coming naturally from the characters it did well in enhancing the emotion of this very human tale.
The beast of Bodmin, the Grim, the Hound of the Baskervilles: our fears of the wild darkness manifest in many stories. But don't be fooled. Every Wild Beast isn’t a story of monsters, but of people: our emotions, our friendships, and our journeys to find ourselves.