The Berry Theatre is delighted to welcome tutti frutti to the Borough this summer for a wonderful new production by the theatre-for-families company. WiLd!, funded by the Wellcome Trust and written by award-winning writer Evan Placey, explores the world of a young boy with ADHD. Informed by intensive research into the condition, this wonderful stage play aims to enhance the diversity of the creative industries through the development of bold projects for families such as this. Perfect for children aged 8 and up and their family, WiLd! will be loved by every misunderstood child, their teachers and families up and down the land when it debuts on The Berry Theatre’s stage on Saturday 7th May.
Writer Evan Placey spoke about the process of creating this dynamic family show, and you can read all about it below.
Where did the idea for WiLd! come from and how did you research it?
Wendy Harris, the director, and I had talked about working on something together. She came to me with the idea of writing something about ADHD, and I was really keen. I’d worked as an LSA before I was a writer and so was keen to write this story. We worked with CANDAL at Nottingham University and ran a workshop with a young boy with ADHD, as well as with a group of adults who have ADHD to get their views and insight.
How difficult is it to write a play that features issues like this this for an audience aged 8+?
The age part doesn’t make it difficult. Kids this age go to school with kids with a range of disabilities, family circumstances, and backgrounds, so they already encounter it everyday. The difficult part was getting us inside Billy’s head so we could experience the story and see the world from his point of view.
What challenges did you have in writing WiLd?
Writing the show for one actor was a challenge. How to keep the play alive and moving and present when the actor has no one to play off.
What do you hope the audience will get from seeing the play?
I hope they empathise with Billy and his behaviour. But mostly I hope they have a good time! That they laugh, and are moved.
If you have to sum up the play in 3 words what would they be?
Bees, jumping, wild.
How does WILd! stand out in a crowded children’s show market?
It’s an original story that’s not been told before, done with live music, digital, and huge physicality.
How heavily are you involved in the rehearsal process for your shows?
I’m usually as involved at the beginning and end. When it’s a new piece there are still script changes that happen during the rehearsals so I’m there to work through those. But I also think it’s important for me to leave for chunks so the director and actors can explore the text more freely without me there.
Why should audiences come and see the production?
It’s new! And there’s a trampoline.