Taking a refreshing new approach to the coalface of climate protest, Shewolves is a heartwarming tale of two unlikely friends bonding over a shared dissatisfaction with the status quo.


Increasingly sitting at the forefront of social and political debate, climate change is undeniably a hot topic, and this first show from Shewolves Productions, directed by Hannah Stone, is a light-hearted drama set against the background of environmental activism and trouble at school.


Lou (Harriet Waters), is trying to follow in the footsteps of Greta Thunberg and Priya (Gurjot Dhaliwal) is keen to skip school. It’s an unlikely pairing but, as the story progresses, it becomes apparent the two have more in common than they might think. Frequently in trouble at school and at home, the pair find themselves on a journey to escape their situations and to try to make one big statement that will better the world and their own lives.


There’s no doubt the juxtaposition of the more scholarly Lou and down-to-Earth Pria offers plenty of opportunity for comedy and writer Sarah Middleton makes great use of this (Pria waking Lou up to the shout of “Wake up! The world is still burning!” is a particular highlight). Poking gentle fun at serious topics, it’s a heartfelt production that is warming and relatable in many ways.


The acting is on point and in a difficult thrust stage environment, Waters and Dhaliwal never miss a beat. Even when not centre stage they both embody their characters fully and even down to their facial expressions it’s a quality performance all around.


There’s good use of sound and lighting effects (kudos to Eleanor Isherwood and Anna Reddyhoff) and through the sound effect in particular the audience is let into a little of the characters’ deeper lives before they’re ready to share with each other which is engaging and well thought out.


The set, designed by Charlotte Henry has some nice touches, the backdrop in particular is a well thought out piece and while the stage doesn’t offer a huge space for props, what there is, is used to good effect.


Shewolves has a lot of positives and it’s clear that this is designed predominantly for a teen audience, so it may be that something is lost in the age gap, but while it’s a good and entertaining production the overall message is a little confusing and the ending mildly unsatisfying. A minor letdown in an otherwise enjoyable experience.


Running until the 8th of July at  Southwark Playhouse. 


Review: Damien Russell       Photo: Pamela Raith