Fuzzy cuddles
New York | 1h 20m | Already closed


From 22 critic and 1 member reviews
Members say: Edgy, Indulgent, Disappointing

About the show

A new play from Britain about a pair of sisters, one of whom lives in reality and the other who may or may not be undead. Part of 59E59's "Brits Off-Broadway" Festival. More…

Eve is a 13-year-old vampire. She has never left her room and everything she knows about the world comes from her sister Tabby and her storybook characters. Eve does everything a good little vampire girl should, including drinking her (human) sister's blood. But one day, Tabby tires of opening her veins and, in a breath, Eve's whole world changes.

Theatre's Leiter Side

"Joseph Wilde’s engrossing, brilliantly performed, two-character vampire play...beautifully mixes black humor with its more creepy elements (vividly present), using language both vulgar and poetic. It examines the struggle for love and happiness in two desperately twisted people, and how difficult it is to be human." Full Review

New York Post

"The vampire story has been done to death — but 'Cuddles' puts a fantastic spin on it...The show creates an atmosphere of suspenseful dread...Just when you think you have a handle on the story, Wilde throws in a twist. 'You’re not the only monster in this house, Eve,' Tabby says. 'Remember that.' You won’t forget, either." Full Review

The New York Times

"This, er, bloodcurdling vampire drama makes most movies, books or plays about the famously undead, however gory, seem like sweet little bedtime stories...'Cuddles,' directed with a sharp sense of suspense, is a vampire yarn on the surface, but beneath lies a dark story of guilt, the sometimes destructive force of love and how one mind may be irrevocably poisoned by another." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"'Cuddles' offers plenty of moments of real humor, even as this psychologically dark play asks its audience to contemplate both the horrors and prevalence of abuse...At times 'Cuddles' seems a little confused as to just what type of play it is trying to be, although it does succeed in entertaining and horrifying in equal measure...Without wanting to reveal too much, it is enough to say that 'Cuddles' ends with a bang, a chill, and a question." Full Review

New York Theatre Review

"Staging a horror piece without over employing the innate theatricality available in a stage production or sacrificing the integrity of the story is a difficult task and can come across as cheesy. 'Cuddles' was not without these cheapening effects but for the most part the two actors were able to sustain the atmosphere through the simple moments they shared...It brings with it a reality that is completely unsettling. It’s that reality that makes it scary, and left my stomach churning." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"How much of this story have we lost in the play’s constant vague allusions to the past? We only get a faint suggestion for the series of unfortunate events that led to Eve’s reclusive life. The mystery is certainly fun to watch, and I recommend this show to anyone who wants a fresh take on vampire or suspense stories. I for one would be interested to see how this gruesome story grows in future productions." Full Review


"At its core, 'Cuddles' is a profoundly alienating story, at times cold, disgusting or just simply hopeless. Summoning up emotions theater audiences may not be accustomed to experiencing in such a venue, it is certainly an acquired taste. But for its unflinching, graphic depiction of two young women fighting against the demons within their own family, 'Cuddles' deserves a round of applause." Full Review

Female Arts

for a previous production "Wilde’s writing is simply fantastic. It’s fast-paced, funny and fresh. The traded barbs between sisters are exquisite, perfectly capturing sisterly love and frustrationin equal measure...Probably not one for the very squeamish, "Cuddles" is a wonderful modern morality tale. We are left wondering whether it is those who believe in fairy tales and monsters who are misguided, or the ones that create the stories who are the beasts in the night...You should see this play." Full Review

Everything Theatre (UK)

for a previous production "Funny, touching and incredibly intense, this is new writing at its best...Cuddles incorporates several playwriting styles and will certainly appeal to a wide audience. It is written by Joseph Wilde who has a wicked sense of humour matched with a sharp understanding of human nature. It is great to see a show which explores our humanity through an exciting supernatural storyline, while also maintaining high production values and a rich wealth of talent across the board." Full Review

A Younger Theatre

for a previous production "A lot of this play is genuinely, brutally shocking – these magical sisters aren’t Charmed or charming, and the piece is more of an exploration of the abuser-abused dynamic than of the vampire myth. Although the horrifying revelations are evenly spaced and punctuated with lashings of black humour, the atmosphere can feel grindingly bleak...still, "Cuddles" impressively transforms the most stylish of scary stories into something rough, grubby and grotesquely hilarious." Full Review

What's On Stage (UK)

for a previous production "Cuddles is less fantasy and more a documentation of disillusionment - and its methods work well. Wilde, like his namesake, is a dab hand at comic one-liners, managing to negotiate comedy and tragedy with force which feels classic in origin...Staging the horror of child imprisonment could so easily misfire, but, despite the conclusion, Wilde largely succeeds. This is thanks to brilliant writing and experimental uses of fantasy - which juggle comedy and tragedy alongside delusion and reality." Full Review

There Ought To Be Clowns

for a previous production "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 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...a flawed gem of a production that won’t be easily forgotten." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

for a previous production "Those who came to this production expecting blood, gore and stereotype won’t be too disappointed. Young Eve is afraid of garlic and crosses, and she has quite a bite, but Wilde rigorously unpicks the formulae of adolescent fiction, tearing notions and themes out of the books and exposing their dirty horror. With characters that dip between naturalism and the supernatural, "Cuddles" embraces its fictionality and lets its blurred boundaries enrich a very unusual coming of age narrative." Full Review

Time Out London

for a previous production "Tautly directed against a sickening, flyblown design, ‘Cuddles’ is a smart and gruesome gothic tale that reveals Wilde as a writer with a great deal of confidence and nerve...This is a full-blooded drama with ferocious bite." Full Review

Bargain Theatreland

for a previous production "Fantastic theatre...In general, there are but a few small flaws in a pretty polished work. Joseph Wilde’s first full length play is full of beautifully whimsical language and poetic images, but also some sharp ones that jar and challenge. Though it provides few clear answers for the issues it raises, it’s a thought provoking, well acted and emotionally affecting play." Full Review

Capital Plays

for a previous production "Exposing the flipside of fairytales and presenting a new, horrific take on the princess in the tower...The tone is as dark as the humour, and both combine to create a compelling and convincing world that doesn’t lie so far outside the bounds of credibility...the play is a twisted allegory on creation and conception – adding a new take on the body horror of stories like Frankenstein and Alien. "Cuddles" is a worthy and chilling member of this tradition." Full Review


for a previous production "Arch 468 aims to make challenging theatre and "Cuddles" certainly delivers that brief. Whether its message is a little too heavy-handed and its drama a little too one-paced may be debatable. What's not debatable is the commitment shown by two actors with their emotions dialed up to 10 for over an hour without a break." Full Review

One Stop Arts

for a previous production "Cuddles is certainly not as sweet at it sounds. This striking debut full-length play from Joseph Wilde is executed with great skill...A climax that genuinely sent shivers down my spine...an interesting new voice in Joseph Wilde, and this debut sets him off on his way well." Full Review

British Theatre Guide

for a previous production "What could be extremely unpleasant to witness is lightened by flashes of black humour and the richness of Wilde’s language and invention...Wilde doesn’t attempt to offer solutions but he certainly raises lots of questions." Full Review

The Public Reviews

for a previous production "The play delights in shocking its audience, and while some of the more jaw-dropping moments feel justified and well-earned, there are some moments that feel provocative for provocative’s sake...Writer Joseph Wilde delivers an arresting debut and writes with panache, but it suffers slightly on account of its own fearlessness. That being said, it seems likely he will go from strength to strength and I look forward to his next production." Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "Joseph Wilde's debut play may not be a case of love at first bite, but it's certainly distinctive...Wilde creates a convincing closed world, but the fact that we never really see life outside lessens its impact, and the undertow of abuse and the play's sexual politics are under explored. But it's a reminder that there are many kinds of vampiric behavior, and the finale sends you out into the dark with a shiver." Full Review

The Upcoming (UK)

for a previous production "Wilde’s play is complex and intelligent, billed as a response to the London riots and the consumerism that partly fueled them. The problem that the consumerism allegory is almost completely lost under the sheer weight of metaphors he has tried to pack in...Wilde clearly knows how to write strong and intriguing characters and isn’t afraid to tackle big themes. Nonetheless, the script needs to be refined if he wishes to make his point clear, because as it is, "Cuddles" doesn’t have enough bite." Full Review

Edgy, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if You want to see something a little different but don't care that it's not that good.

Don't see it if You like good theater.

Cast & Creatives

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