By Tom Swift
Alice spends virtually all her time in Wolf Wood. You know, the world’s deepest, darkest online game. Why not? Her dad isn’t around, her mother’s gone to Canada to meet a lumberjack and her best friend’s dumped her for a YouTube star.
But what happens when the people you meet online come looking for you in real life? Who can you trust, and who is the Big Bad Wolf? This re-telling of the Little Red Riding Hood story is a digital fairy tale that's deliciously funny and full of dangerously dark twists.
Review of Alice and the Wolf
Ann Murtagh – Teacher / Author/ Facilitator (Kilkenny Education Centre)
Every child is familiar with the story of Little Red Riding Hood. By relocating this well-loved fairy-tale into the virtual world of gaming, Barnstorm Theatre once again succeeds in delivering a message which is both powerful and relevant for the target audience. Alice, known as ‘Red’ takes refuge from the traumas in her life by getting lost in online games. In order to compensate for what is lacking in real life, Red accepts a friend request from a stranger online and what appears to be a charming little puppy at the start, evolves eventually into the Big Bad Wolf. Along the way, he manages to tag along with Red to school and impress a couple of girls in her class who are obsessed with how they are portraying themselves online. The theme is further compounded by Red’s mother who travels to Canada to meet a man she had connected with online who turns out to be nothing like his profile.
The dialogue had lots of social media references that the children enjoyed and the stage set and lighting were very effective for evoking the virtual reality of a computer game. I loved the imaginative treatment of the Virtual Wolf who escapes from the game but is perceived by all the characters as a real-life threat. In spite of his menacing presence, there was humour sprinkled throughout, especially when Granny was involved! This modern twist on an old tale was clever, child-friendly and a very effective vehicle for communicating its central theme about the danger of connecting with strangers online
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