Ten years and five albums into his career, he's taking a glance back with acoustic re-recordings double-album project Sundark and Riverlight, which he showcases tonight (August 29) with an unplugged set in some pretty swanky surroundings.
Wolf's string section opens up the show and he starts singing 'Ghost Song' offstage before sauntering on complete with cape and gold laurel wreath, setting the tone for the night ahead.
At his best, Wolf is a vessel for melody, magic, theatre, a fair bit of ridiculousness and romanticism so heartfelt it can overwhelm. The classical sensibility of John Cale with the rock 'n' roll heart of Lou Reed. Tonight we get bucketloads of all of that.
There's also a certain ramshackle charm which stops you from hating a guy who effortlessly flits between pianos, uke and harp from song to song.
Things completely break down during 'Bermondsey Street' when Wolf gets his hes and shes mixed up in the verses. "It goes straight then it's gay, straight then it's gay," he laughs.
"I was going to write a third verse and fourth verse so it was straight, gay, lesbian, transgender, but it would have been a very long song! So I try to cover all of the bases with my aesthetic."
You need quite a sense of humour to match a man's dress with an inverted pentagram over your face for your encore outfit, and despite his past phases of chippiness, Wolf in his late-20s is charm personified.
Born just down the road at St Thomas's Hospital, Wolf calls tonight a homecoming, despite his upcoming five-month world tour.
"I guess I'd never really been in love," he says of his early years before 'London'. "But I wrote a song to a city."
'House' is dedicated to Wolf's "wonderful, wonderful" landlord - rarer in the capital than harp-playing popstars.
"Not only does he allow us two ragamuffins into his house at the end of his garden, but he's a very inspiring and wonderful man who has been through some wonderful adventures in his life," Wolf says.
There's the odd moment where the arrangement don't quite pull off the plugged-in power of the originals, but tonight convinces that Sundark and Riverlight is a genuinely artistic, rather than gimmicky or commercial, raid on Wolf's back catalogue.
"I'm sorry I had everyone seated down tonight," he said early on. "I didn't want anyone falling over with boredom." Not a chance.
The full Patrick Wolf at The Old Vic setlist was as follows:
'Time Of My Life'
'The Sun Is Often Out'
'Wind In The Wires'
'The Magic Position'