Five questions with Evan Placey

Award winning writer Evan Placey answers a few questions about tutti frutti’s new production of WiLd!

  1. What’s the world of the play going to be like?

It’s fast-paced, it’s physical, it whips from one thing to the next. Hopefully through the character and the style of storytelling we’re really able to get inside the head of Billy and see the world as he does. And there’s bees. It’s a world that is rarely still.

  1. Where did your inspiration come from?

I spent a lot of time working with children with special needs through various part-time jobs as a teen and young adult. I also still do the occasional theatre workshop for primary schools, so very much drawing on the world of these schools and children. But also thinking back to my own years in primary school and the dynamics between friends and teachers and parents that I remember experiencing. My partner is a bee-keeper so I’ve always wanted to weave bees into a narrative as i’m fascinated by them, and it felt right that Billy would share this passion.

  1. What’s the central question in the play?

Is it the individual who is different and needs to adapt to the status quo, or is it the rest of us who need to adapt? There’s a secondary question of who are labels actually for: the individual being labelled, or the rest of us?

  1. How is the issue of ADHD dealt with?

ADHD is part of the fabric of the play as it effects a large part of how Billy sees the world. So it’s always there. It’s also part of the storytelling style of the piece. Billy is starting a new behavioural programme is mother has been training in, and he is also starting medication, so these are part of his drama, and some of the obstacles that play into the overall play.

  1. What’s do you hope the response will be ?

That we fall in love with Billy; that we laugh with him and cry with him. That by the end we completely empathise with him and better understand him, rather than just seeing him as a ‘problem.’ But mostly, that the story, the non-stop physicality of it, the live music, take us under its spell so we feel like we too are Billy and part of his world.

Wild opens at The Carriageworks, Leeds on Saturday 30th April. For more information about the show see the WiLd! page here