An Interview with Adam Peck, Dramaturg on The Boy Who Cried Wolf!

Out on King Street the set is going up and inside the rehearsal room The Boy Who Cried Wolf! creative team and cast are busy devising the show. Sat front centre in the rehearsal room is Adam Peck the dramaturg, busy tapping away at his laptop and keeping an eye on all that is going on in the room. He’s worked with director Sally Cookson on many of her shows, including Cinderella (Tobacco Factory 2011, St James Theatre 2012) and Varmints (touring 2013), and is one of our associate artists. Now he’s back for The Boy Who Cried Wolf!, so we took the opportunity to catch up with him about the show…

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Tell us about your role in the show.
My role is to prepare the script. This means recording the material that is devised, then editing it to make a script that works dramatically. The editing process involves re-phrasing, cutting and adding material. I work closely with Sally to make decisions regarding which lines stay and which lines go. As a general rule, fewer well chosen words work more effectively than more words. It’s great writing a script with actors and a director as you know immediately whether the words are working or not. (i.e. you’re not sitting at home writing a script wondering if the dialogue will work.)

Describe the show in three words.
Silly musical stories.

Did you read Aesop’s Fables as a child? If so, which was your favourite fable?
Yes I read Aesop’s. My favourite story was the Hare and the Tortoise. It frustrated me that the Hare wasn’t cleverer. His potential to be a winner – by running fast – is undermined because he’s a bit slow in the head.

Which animal in the fables are you most like?
I like to think I’m like the Bear in the The Travellers and the Bear. I think I scare people sometimes with my hairy face and gruff manner, but I’m quite nice really – I even sometimes give people advice on their friendships (just like the Bear in the story).

What is your favourite moment in the show?
The song that forms the main part of Part 2 of The Boy Who Cried Wolf at the top of the second half. It includes the wolf preparing to eat his lunch with lines like “My tongue is really tingling”, “A bit of salt and pepper”, and “I’m rubbing my tummy”.

Describe an average day in rehearsal.
Sat behind a computer typing what the actors say in improvisations or transcribing audio recordings or improvisations, writing dialogue and stage directions, formatting word documents, re-reading the original stories, correcting typos, discussing the script with Sally, correcting actors (not following the script), amending lines (because the actors have not followed the script and said something better than what was written), printing and photocopying scripts and handing them out to actors.

What are you most looking forward to?
Seeing the show outside on a hot summer’s evening, and smiling and laughing (a lot)!

What has it been like working with Sally Cookson?
Rubbish – I never want to do it again. She’s a meglomaniac, never listens to anyone else, is only interested in her own ideas, and always has such a negative attitude and miserable face.

Director Sally Cookson in rehearsal.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf! is on here at Bristol Old Vic 13 Jul-1 Sep. Find out more here. Photography by Mark Douet.

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