Review: Cuddles, Oval House

 “You’re not the only monster in this house”

Many a play purports to send chills down the spine but precious few actually manage the act of setting the hairs on end with moments of genuine chilling revelation. But Cuddles, Joseph Wilde’s first full-length play which has just opened upstairs at the Oval House, managed just that with its pervasive air of dark fantasy gone wrong and one of the most shocking moments one will probably see all year in a theatre. Rebecca Atkinson-Lord’s direction keeps the intensity of this show almost oppressively high, challenging both her actors and her audience, but emerges with a flawed gem of a production that won’t be easily forgotten.

Shut away in her room in a castle, Eve is a 13 year old vampire whose only visitor is the (human) Princess Tabby who dispenses food, whether sandwiches or blood, and affection, cuddles of varying levels. But in the real world, Tabby is Eve’s big sister and a young woman aching for a taste of normal life and as she seeks to satisfy that hunger with a likely young chap named Steve, Eve’s own determination to pursue her desires theatens to disrupt all the carefully constructed systems they have put in place to manage day to day life. Continue reading “Review: Cuddles, Oval House”