Wolf Tamer by Rachel Mae Brady offers a tale of a lost hero at the Brighton Fringe
Rachel has lost her hero. Her uncle Neil has died unexpectedly. In the wake of his death she becomes reclusive, struggling to leave the house. To make sense of her loss she travels back in time and revisits the incredible stories Neil told her as a child, of adventures around the world.
Wolf Tamer is based on performer and playwright Rachel Mae Brady’s own life. She promises an autobiographical solo show which is an honest, often humorous exploration of grief and the power of storytelling. Wolf Tamer is ultimately a story of courage and survival, she says.
“I began writing it shortly after my uncle Neil died in 2015. He was my hero when I was a kid. He travelled all over the world and told me stories of his adventures in Egypt and the North Pole. He rode a red motorbike, went hang gliding and looked like a cross between James Dean and the Terminator.”
Rachel retells these stories during the show.
Rachel was in the middle of panto rehearsals when Neil died. She couldn’t make it back to Ireland, as his funeral was on opening night.
“His death had a profound effect on me: It was my first big loss and the loss of my hero. The world became a very scary place. I became terrified of dying or losing anybody close to me. I struggled with depression and extreme social anxiety in the months following his death.”
For several weeks Rachel struggled to leave the house, which was something her uncle also struggled with, having developed agoraphobia in his thirties.
“Wolf Tamer explores challenging issues; mental illness and grief but is full of humour, magic and joy. Expect adventures in the North Pole, ancient Egyptian mummies and death defying stunts on hang gliders.The Year of Magical Thinking meets Indiana Jones.2
The play is directed by Joy Forsythe who is also Rachel’s mum (and Neil’s sister), so this project is very personal. Rachel and Joy set up their theatre company Savage Heart Productions last year.
The company produces new plays with an emphasis on female-led work. In their own words they set up the company is response to “a real appetite and need for women’s stories to be told right now.”
Rachel is writing a second play for Savage Heart SMASH which will premier later in the year and is a member of Playmaker Writers’ Attachment Program 2019 at Oxford Playhouse, where she will develop her third play ‘ury The Wren, with mentorship from playwright John Retallack.
Wolf Tamer will be at Sweet venue (Venue 18/252) from May 13-19 at 5.10pm (60 minutes) with tickets priced at £8. http://www.brightonfringe.org.