IN the middle of Mike Kenny’s 2013 sandwich at York Theatre Royal is his new show for Leeds children’s theatre company Tutti Frutti.

His summer family entertainment The Legend Of King Arthur has come and gone like the glorious weather; his new First World War community play for Pilot Theatre, Slung Low and the Theatre Royal, Blood + Chocolate is premiered a week today. More of that in next Thursday’s What’s On.

The York playwright’s adaptation of the vulpine tale from Aesop’s Fables, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, opens today in the Theatre Royal Studio in a show suitable for three-year-olds and upwards.

“Actually there’s not much more of a story than what it says in the title, so this is a brand spanking new version,” says Mike.

“I’d been a bit resistant initially when Wendy ([Tutti Frutti artistic director Wendy Harris] suggested doing this tale because I couldn’t quite see there was enough of a play in it or if there was more than a boy crying wolf.”

Mike Kenny being Mike Kenny, however, he has managed to spin a bigger yarn from the woolly material.

“The simple story is that the boy is made to look after his family’s sheep. He comes from a farming village, and as he’s eight or nine, he’s old enough to be left on his own up the mountain, but he gets bored and so he cries “wolf’’.

Everyone comes out and discovers there’s no wolf; it happens a second time, but then third time, they don’t come to his help when there really is a wolf, so you can only cry ‘wolf’ so many times,” he says.

“The moral is that he’s taught a lesson for lying, but moralising is not really my style, but Wendy convinced me there was more to the story than that, and now I’m a proselytiser for it!”

Mike has built another motif into the story. “In our version, all the village community is based around wool and making things from wool, so at every Christmas there’s a jumper-knitting festival, where everyone has to turn up in their knitted jumper,” he says. “We get a lot of fun out of that, and because of all the knitting, the feeling of the piece is quite Scandinavian.”

Wendy Harris’s cast of three is kept busy by Mike’s imagination. Matthew Hamper plays the boy, Silas; Sally Ann Staunton, his mother, Martha; and Thomas Edward-Bennett, his grandfather, but they also play the wolves and the singing, dancing sheep in a typically fast-moving Tutti Frutti show.

“The play takes place over three winters and over the course of that time the boy grows up. He’s never a bad boy, but he’s not one to shoulder responsibility at the start, but by the time there really is a wolf and they don’t come to his rescue, he has to find his inner wolf and face the wolf down – and if you face them down, eyeball to eyeball, like with a dog, they will back down.

“Their only natural enemy is Man, but a wolf requires you to run in order to attack you, which I didn’t realise until I researched the show.”

Although Mike is not in favour of moralising in his storytelling, nevertheless his play does carry a message. ”I suppose in our society we don’t give kids that much responsibility, but I think they should have some responsibility,” says the playwright and father.

Tutti Frutti Productions and York Theatre Royal present The Boy Who Cried Wolf at York Theatre Royal Studio, today until October 12; then touring until January 4 2014. Box office: 01904 623568 or at