Discovering Jack (Freddie Watkins)


Freddie Watkins as Jack. Photo Helen Maybanks

Once the schoolboys have crashed on the island, they’re all faced with the moral conundrum that you’d expect any 15 year old to have when they suddenly find themselves in a place where rules don’t apply. Do we take the opportunity to have fun and do what we want? Or do we try and get back to our parents?

Q. What is Jack like as a character?

A. The characters of Jack and Ralph personify the two sides of this dilemma. While Ralph (Luke’s character), and Piggy (played by Anthony Roberts), try to maintain order by consulting their sense of right and wrong, it is clear that my character (Jack) is only interested in rules as long as there’s a grown-up to enforce them. So all of these traits that Jack has, his insolence, his short fuse, his impulsive outbursts, become a window into something more primal. He’s there to show some darker human potential.

Q. What do you like about playing Jack?

A. On a simple level it’s always fun to play the bad guy; a lot of power comes with the character, but they also tend to be damaged and broken which gives a lot of material to play around with. I’m definitely enjoying thinking about the two levels of who Jack tries to be, and who he actually is.

Q. What are the challenges of this role?

A. Jack barely thinks, at all. Many of the events that he causes, or takes part in, are driven almost entirely by impulse. Meaning, there’s a number of instances in the play that can’t be premeditated. I’ve found this challenging; I can’t work through a thought process as delicately as I’d like to. The cast have really helped; they have been able to whip up an atmosphere, especially the hunters, which gives me a lot of stimulus to feed off.

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