Beautiful Victorian building Wilton’s Music Hall is holding a swansong of sorts before partly closing for refurbishment works (events will still be going on, but on a much smaller scale for the next year or so while building is completed). The show in question is Father Nandru and the Wolves, written especially for Wilton’s by Julian Garner, and focusing on prejudice, fantasy and threats to tradition in one Romanian village during the time of Ceaușescu – a rather apt piece for a building that has been under threat more than once in its life.
Father Nandru is a kindhearted priest with a bit too much fondness for the bottle. He comes into conflict with his parishioners when he appears to condone the relationship between a daughter from a respectable family and a gypsy boy. However, the community must pull together when they realise they face an even bigger threat from developers who want to destroy their village.
The wolves of the title are huge, stunning beasts, and I only wish we got to see more of them during the performance. Most characters, apart from Father Nandru himself, are portrayed with puppets, and these add to the playful nature of the show. Add in a Romanian folk band and you get a highly entertaining and unusual evening for the whole family.