ED2018 Chris Meets ED2018 Interviews ED2018 Musicals

Dale Adams: BARK!

By | Published on Thursday 23 August 2018

‘BARK! The Musical… How The Little Dog Found His Voice’ is “a musical homage to dogs and their endearingly human hearts” which has played to much acclaim in LA and made its UK debut at the Edinburgh Fringe this year.

Our reviewer loved the show, noting how “the choreography is laugh-out-loud funny and the witty songs have been carefully researched to reflect the realities of dog life”. We needed to find out more! So I asked some questions of actor Dale Adams, who plays that little dog trying to find his voice in the Edinburgh version of the show.

CC: Tell us about the premise of ‘BARK!’ – what is it about?
DA: ‘BARK!’ is an award winning musical from LA which tells the story of a Jack Russell puppy on his first day at the park. We soon learn that he cannot bark like the bigger dogs, so he enlists the help of five eccentric canines.

CC: What is the music like? Are there any other shows you’d compare it to?
DA: The score of ‘BARK!’ has been wonderfully composed and crafted by the amazing David Troy Francis. The show covers a wide variety of musical styles, from vaudeville to gospel to opera, all underneath the umbrella of the musical theatre genre. I can definitely see a lot of Stiles and Drewe’s ‘Honk!’ in the score, but at the same time it’s a show of its own unique kind.

CC: It’s already enjoyed much success in the US. Why did the producers decide to bring it to the Fringe?
DA: Because we, as a nation of dog lovers, need a show like ‘BARK!’ to remind us of how much we adore dogs – and all other animals! And the Fringe is a fantastic platform to showcase work from all over the world. We are also collecting donations for the Edinburgh Dog And Cat Home to help them continue helping animals find loving homes.

CC: How did you get involved in the show?
DA: One of our producers, Elva Corrie, and I were discussing the show a year ago. I loved the sound of its concept from the start, so I was thrilled to be offered a role in the Edinburgh Fringe production.

CC: Tell us about your character.
DA: I play Rocks, the Jack Russell puppy I mentioned. He is a representation of innocence and youth. He is energetic and sees the park through rose coloured spectacles. Throughout the story he learns a little more about himself and what it means to be a dog.

CC: What’s your favourite song in the show and why?
DA: My favourite song would have to be the ‘Siren Symphony’. It is an ensemble piece about how dogs respond to the sound of sirens. It has amazing harmony arrangements with even a few references to award winning scores like ‘The Lion King’.

CC: You were at the Fringe last year in ‘Adam and Steve and Eve’, what was that experience like?
DA: It was brilliant! As always. I love the Fringe festival and any opportunity to return is an honour.

CC: How does performing in a show like ‘BARK!’ compare?
DA: It’s nice to have a different crowd in for this show. A lot more families and children, which is always a lovely excitable audience to play to.

CC: Let’s back track a little, tell us about your career. How did you get into this acting lark?
DA: I started my career performing in musicals and operas as a child actor. Then, when I was eighteen, I trained for three years at the Arts Educational Schools in London. Since then my career has taken me all over the world, including to theatres in the Middle East and even aboard ships in the Caribbean.

CC: As an actor, is the Edinburgh Fringe a particularly attractive place to perform?
DA: It’s a fantastic opportunity to explore all aspects of the arts industry, even the ones you’re not sure you like. The overall energy of the city is infectious and you really do make friends for life here.

CC: What have been the highs and the lows of the Festival so far?
DA: I think the only low has been that the experience has gone so quickly and that it’s almost over. One of the biggest highs for me has been performing our one-off dog-friendly performance of ‘BARK!’ The dogs who attended were even singing along with us. After the show I also got to meet some of the lovely dogs, including the cutest puppy I’ve ever seen!

CC: And finally, what next for both you and ‘BARK!’?
DA: Shortly after ‘BARK!’ finishes its run, I will be rejoining the cast of ‘Walk Like A Man’ as Frankie Valli at certain performances for the remainder of its 2018 UK tour. Nothing has been announced yet for ‘BARK!’s future in the UK, but I can imagine after the amazing reception we’ve received from our audiences here, something must be in the pipeline. I would love to reprise the role of Rocks in the future.

‘BARK! The Musical… How The Little Dog Found His Voice’ was performed at C at Edinburgh Festival 2018.