Brighton Fringe: Wildcat’s Last Waltz Review

From the green of Regency Square, to the warmth of a Sheffield front room, this Northern matriarch brought the dance to the Rotunda Bubble Theatre.

Brighton Fringe: Wildcat’s Last Waltz Review

I’m not always one for a show beginning after 8pm. It feels excessively late for me, a twenty-something reviewer who unironically places an inordinate amount of value on retiring at 9pm, a practice I have fondly named my early-onset “granny era”. Lucky for me, this 9pm show was a welcome post-sunset treat, a remarkable display of heartfelt comedy and moving monologues in the Rotunda “Bubble” theatre, sister of the aptly named “Squeak”. 

On this particular Thursday evening, we entered a new kind of granny era,  welcomed into a cosy Sheffield front room with the Wildcat and her on-stage singing trio. She broke the ice early on, inviting the audience to join her in a cuppa and a biscuit to take back to their seats. I didn’t realise a piping hot beverage was included in the ticket, but felt compelled to stick to the knock-off Caprisun I’d somehow got my hands on. It felt like an easy-in to get some made-to-measure audience participation, something I quite frankly was not in the market for. And boy was I right. 

As the show progressed, we learnt more about our host’s history and late-husband, her love for dance, and the moment she fell in love. It was moving and fluent, a dialogue we felt a part of, as did audience members Jimmy and Allen who were lovingly tucked in nicely on stage alongside our protagonist. Amidst the reflective talk of love and loss, we were given an interlude of movement – more workout than waltz, granted, but a dance all the same. Wildcat’s whistle-stop routine incorporated star jumps followed by star jumps double time, and push ups followed by push ups with a clap. It was quite a feat for a granny wearing a modest midi-skirt and baby pink ballet pumps, and no doubt for the three unsuspecting audience members who had to truly commit to the bit. 

Overall, Wildcat’s Last Waltz was touching – an ode to keeping company in older-age, and the importance of grieving with love, kindness, and compassion. Catch Wildcat while you can, the Northern matriarch with a way with words, and a welcome cup of char. 

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