Educating Victor...

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PLAYWRIGHT Pamela Carter addresses the question of how we educate our children in her latest stage drama to come to Woodend Barn, Banchory.

Mostly, we hand them over to the professionals or perhaps occasionally we might consider home-schooling. However, there are some things that parents or carers have to teach their children, things which set humans apart from animals, such as morality and empathy. Children’s initial experience of the world is in our hands, we can shape their perception of it.

Wild Life, which comes to the Barn on March 3, was inspired by the true story of Victor, so-called ‘Wolf-Boy of Aveyron’, the twelve year old who was found living wild in 19th century rural France and who was then the subject of an experiment to discover what makes humans different to animals.

Director Nicholas Bone’s fascination with this story, previously dramatised in François Truffaut’s film L’Enfant Sauvage, coupled with modern day audiences’ fixation with the freak show (think Big Brother, Body Shock and I’m a Celebrity…plus the popularity of social networking) led to this brand new production.

Wild Life follows the progress of a modern-day Victor as his education becomes a televised experiment. The characters Daisy and Dave, bored by the options available online and onscreen, decide to create their own entertainment by making their own ‘wild child’ and then civilising him. They create Victor - his every step streamed live online - and they begin to discover that raising a child, even a virtual one, isn’t as easy as they thought. As the experiment develops, they reveal some uncomfortable truths about their own relationship and are forced to confront their own prejudices and assumptions.

Wild Life is brought to you by Edinburgh-based innovative theatre company Magnetic North for one performance on Thursday 3 March at 7.30pm with the assistance of North East Arts Touring (NEAT), Aberdeenshire Council and Creative Scotland. You can book tickets through Woodend Barn on 01330 825431 or online at www.woodendbarn.co.uk