NFYT 2014 Slug Blitzers

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Congratulations to Blair, Sophie, Megan, Thea, Taylor, Dana, Matt, Dylan and Connie for a great performance of BiRD at this year’s National Festival of Youth Theatre. It was astonishingly good, given the lack of sleep the night before – due mainly to an unzipped tent, a pile of sweets and resulting slug/spider fest. Excellent feedback from the festival critics too!

As with previous years, this was a fun-packed 4-day stint of theatre skills, workshops and international performance, liberally sprinkled with essential ‘networking’, a wrap party, traditional Scottish camping conditions and very little sleep.Our group were exemplary and enthusiastic ambassadors for Firefly, West Lothian and youth theatre, and we are justifiably proud of them!

So no regrets from the stoic Firefly staff who insisted that this great opportunity go ahead, despite having another group/production/festival to support the following week! Huge thanks to Alison (who chose to go to Singapore rather than camp in Fife), Geraldine (relentlessly practical and optimistic in any situation), Eleanor for combined tent and director skills, Anna for directing and de-slugging the offending tent at some ungodly hour, Laura for unleashing her rap skills on the unsuspecting public, and Joanna, who by 4am on Monday morning was seriously considering early retirement.

Our thanks also to Youth Theatre Arts Scotland who host this fantastic event each year.IMG_0349IMG_0397IMG_0359View more photos from BiRD here.

 

Here Comes Summer…

A chance to catch our breath following Firefly’s busiest time of the year, and it’s probably time for a round-up of recent projects, events and performance. Congratulations and thanks to the fabulous staff, participants, freelance artists, schools and partnership organisations who have seen us through 3 public productions, 12 end of term shows, 2 film screenings and 3 mini-rock concerts – all within 3 weeks!

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Children’s work has included  cracking performances of Dog Squad at Linlithgow Burgh Halls and The Grumblers at The Regal in Bathgate, along with promenade performances of Wonderland at Howden Park and This Is My Space in Boghall. Our P1-P3 children have screened their film-work, created through a Swedish exchange project, and we’ve been treated to  innovative BSL-signed devised work from our new Wednesday Navigators.

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Our older workshop groups have been equally busy. The combined forces of Company LA, Company 54, Company B and Friday Film Club infiltrated our home venue in Livingston for a full day of tech and performance, screening and partying. Catch Friday Film Club’s latest concoction,#benefitsoftimetravel here: https://vimeo.com/98429256

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Firefly also run a range of community and outreach projects, and we’ve been delighted to continue our weekly activity in Blackridge and Boghall. Our 2 year programme, PLANET, which works with children, young people and young adults with additional support needs has provided drama, sound design and music workshops throughout the year, and this term offered visual arts and a film/movement project that featured in NTS’ 5 minute theatre programme. View Breathe [A Word] here: https://vimeo.com/99129106

Significant creative achievement also, this term, in the excellent performance and film footage created through our weekly HYPE programme. We’re hoping to continue work with this fantastic group of young adults in the autumn, and are delighted that some of them will be joining us on our YMI funded music  project, SoundTown. SoundTown has been running throughout this year providing voice training, song, music and sound design projects across West Lothian. PlayShed, Firefly’s 1 year creative play programme, comes to an end this month with a family play day and Sprog Rock concerts held in partnership with Fauldhouse Library and WLC’s Arts Team.

School’s work also continues, and our thanks to Pinewood, Beatlie, Murrayfield, Blackburn, Falla Hill, Our Lady of Lourdes and St Kentigern’s schools for welcoming us through their doors this term.

Meanwhile Firefly’s summer season has started with a cracking double-bill of productions, These Shores and BiRD. These Shores is destined for the Contacting The World
International Theatre Festival in Manchester next month, where Firefly will
perform alongside young companies from Jamaica, India, Iran and England. This vibrant, multi-media piece explores themes of home, transition and moving on, and has been devised through a 9-month collaboration with our Jamaican twin company, Quilt Performing Arts.

BiRD is a raw tale of physical and emotional constraint, based on themes and characters within A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines. Created for this year’s National Festival of Youth Theatre, this young and newly-formed company have created a physical, emotionally-charged adaptation of a classic and brutal tale, finding moments of beauty in a harsh and unforgiving landscape.

For both shows, find photos here and programmes here.

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We’re really looking forward to seeing many of you at our summer holiday activity. Fingers crossed for a long, hot and harmonious summer. See you soon!

Joanna, Alison, Eleanor, Laura, Kirsty, Anna and Geraldine

Firefly goes Festival

Two Firefly production companies are rapidly building momentum as they prepare to launch new, festival-bound, performance pieces this month.

Based on an adaption of Barry Hines’ A Kestrel For A Knave‘, BiRD soars through a troubled world of  economic depression and family chaos with an ache for freedom and the sure understanding that we all need to fly sometimes. Featuring a cast of 10 young performers (14 -17 years) BiRD will feature in our double bill performance night on Friday 20th June at Howden Park Centre. You can also catch this production at the Rothes Halls Glenrothes, on 5th July, as part of Scotland’s National Festival of Youth Threatre.Birdfinal2-small

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These Shores… brings together themes, film and cultural exchange generated though Firefly’s international exchange project with Quilt Theatre in Kingston, Jamaica. Supported by Contacting The World as one of 6 companies from UK, India, Iran and Jamaica, this cast of 8 young adults will perform here in West Lothian on Friday 20th June, before taking their production to Contact Theatre’s biannual International Festival in Manchester.

Both events provide excellent and life-changing opportunity for young performers to share work, expand their horizons and build their artistic experience. Our thanks go to Contact Theatre, West Lothian Council and the Craignish Trust for their support.

Book Now for Summer Music, Film and Theatre Projects!

Firefly’s summer activity programme is booking up fast, so check your diaries and book your place on the following fantastic film, song, musical and performance projects.STsummer

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Our summer Play-In-A-Week project in Livingston is now full – and just a few places remain on our 3 day drama project for 8 to 12 year olds in Linlithgow (see below). Book now to avoid disappointment!.Lin Xtra

For more information and to book a place on any of the above, call 01506 333005 or email admin@firefly-arts.co.uk. See you in the summer…

Molière meets Made In Chelsea

IMG_691510 young performers (all S1 and S2) took the baton and ran last week, creating a full production of Molière’s Tartuffe in just 6 days. Astonishing stuff, not least because most of the boys played women and most of the girls played the men.

Deftly directed by Laura Stephen, with set and cast beautifully and comically dressed by Alison Brown, this was a mad romp of a play – a satirical tale that careered through family dispute, religious hypocrisy and moral retribution.Thoroughly enjoyable and an exceptional achievement for all involved. Check out the photos here and the programme here.

Thanks to the following for their sterling work and fortitude:

Director: Laura Stephen
Assistant Director: Matthew Jones
Design/Costume: Alison Brown
Lighting Design: Laura Hawkins
Photography: Sinclair MacKenzie

PS: We were very sad at having to hand the chandeliers back.  Our thanks to Catherine Wheels and their opulent props store for the loan.  IMG_6942

Tartuffe

Following last year’s success with The Fire Raisers, Firefly’s irrepressible Voyager Company(all S1 and S2) are once again grappling with serious theatre-making, with an innovative adaptation of Moliere’s comic satire, Tartuffe. Directed by Laura Stephen and designed by Alison Brown, this cryptic family tale oozes with comedy, intrigue and passion.
Catch the Tartuffe experience at Howden Park Centre, 6pm on Saturday 12th April. One performance only and not to be missed! Email admin@firefly-arts.co.uk or call 08447 744496 for tickets.
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Call Out for Young Writers

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Looking for a platform to share your ideas, struggling with writer’s block, or simply want to have a go at some kind of creative writing? Firefly’s Young Writers’ Group is looking for new members. So why not come along.

This self-run group meets every 2 weeks on Monday nights, 6.30 – 8.30pm at Howden Park Centre, offering friendly feedback and constructive support for any young writer who attends. It is also a great opportunity to create, discuss, capture and grapple with ideas.There is no charge and all are welcome – experienced, novice, aspiring or struggling

The next session is Monday 31st of March. If you’d like more information or plan to come along for the first time, please email Matthew at matthewswan@live.co.uk

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Firefly to perform at NFYT 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA12 lucky and talented Firefly performers will be heading for Scotland’s National Festival of Youth Theatre next July.

The largest annual gathering of youth theatres in the UK, this year  is NFYT’s 10th birthday. Each year NFYT creates an explosion of young creative talent, bringing young theatre addicts together, to celebrate a shared passion and develop as artists, audience members and creative thinkers. Firefly will be one of 10 main-stage performances at this 4-day event, with the added delights of high-energy workshops, exciting social events, spontaneous creativity and, of course, festival camping!

Find out more about NFYT here:  http://www.ytas.org.uk/events/nfyt

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More details on this production, our Contacting the World’s international exchange performances, and an Easter performance of Moliere’s Tartuffe coming soon. Watch this space….

February Already

IMG0072Welcome back for another year of high drama, sound song and light phenomena, ingenious film-making, assorted theatricals, and fearsome Firefly productions.

In addition to our weekly workshop programme (see the end of this post), Firefly run a range of outreach, school and community projects across West Lothian. This term we are launching SoundTown, a song-writing and sound-design project for young people aged 12+. SoundTown is funded by the Youth Music Initiative and will run in partnership with youth and community organisations across the region.Web1

For under 6’s we offer PlayShed – a creative play programme for parents along with their young children (2 -6 years), with open play sessions at Howden Park Centre on Saturdays 1st and 8th March, 10.30-12pm. For more information on these call 08447 744496 or email laura@firefly-arts.co.uk.

PLANET, Firefly’s programme for children and young people with additional support needs, currently runs weekly sensory workshops for senior students from Beatlie and Pinewood schools, integrated drama projects in Blackburn, and a sound-design project for young people affected by autism. SHIFT, our film/dance project for young adults will also be returning after Easter. For more information on this and other PLANET projects call 08447 744496 or email geraldine@firefly-arts.co.uk.

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Firefly play an active role in schools across West Lothian, with integrated drama and film projects in all 5 Blackburn schools, a smoking cessation project in Fauldhouse, Fair Trade workshops throughout February, and CPD sessions for teachers in Edinburgh and West Lothian.

Generating quality arts activity for out-lying communities is a key priority for Firefly,and at present we deliver drop-in drama and workshops in South Livingston, Bathgate and Blackridge. Web 3And NOT forgetting our excellent Youth Theatre companies… news coming soon on exciting new productions planned for April, June and July. Meanwhile for more information on any of the above, or our weekly workshop programme, contact us on 08447 744496 or email admin@firefly-arts.co.uk.Spring14