Sumptious Summer Shows

We’ve 3 fabulous productions coming up this June. All performances are in the Firefly Studio at Howden Park Centre. Book your tickets early to avoid disappointment!

First up is Humming, a new work devised by our young production company for YTAS’ national theatre programme. Set in a painting and decorating apprentice scheme, this production promises to peel back the paper and uncover those cracks we are all so keen to keep covered.Hum

Next we have an adaptation of Kafka’s dark tale of change and transformation, Metamorphosis, by  Linlithgow’s Company LA.. Metam

Finally The Gates, a devised piece by our Livingston company, Co.54, that explores moral, mortal and material justification.Gates

For information and ticket for all shows, contact:
T: 01506 333005
E: admin@firefly-arts.co.uk
W: http://www.firefly-arts.co.uk

 

Brilliant Savagery

IMG_0979Congratulations to the cast and production team of last week’s Lord Of The Flies. William Golding’s dark tale provided these young performers with a mine of themes to explore – conformity, friendship, control  and conflict. With excellent performances by all, particularly as  the drama built and the characters unraveled, Jess Brettle’s eerie set lent this production an unsettling sense of fallibility, deterioration and latent savagery.IMG_0954

A success all the more astonishing for the fact that this show was produced through Firefly’s annual Easter production project – blocked, rehearsed and performed in just 6 days! A huge ask for our young performers (12-16 years), but their commitment, professionalism and enthusiasm for the challenge shone through. Special thanks to Director Anna Humphries, the Production and Design team who imbued this production with such professionalism, and our talented actors: Ailsa, Alyssa, Dana, Erin, Faye, Lucina, Maebh, Matthew, Max and Taylor. View Lord Of The Flies 2015 photos here. View Lord Of The Flies programme here. Production photos: Sinclair MacKenzie

No Flies On Mr Stink

IMG_4542Congratulations to our Navigator 2 performers who gave a fantastic performance of David Walliam’s Mr Stink at Howden Park Centre last week. Thoughtful, comic and highly entertaining – this was a debut performance from a relatively new group of confident young Firefliers, who took no prisoners when it came to engaging their audience in the fun.

Thanks to Kirsty Byers for her excellent direction, family and friends who came to watch (and coped admirably with the audience participation), and the Firefly team who supported the production.

A Warm Welcome for Firefly Writers In Residence…

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Firefly aredelighted to announce the appointment of not one, but two Writers In Residence for our A Word In Your Ear arts programme.

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Martin O’Connor has worked in theatre and participation for over ten years. During that time he has developed his practice in poetry and spoken word, text-based performance and verbatim, which often overlaps between playwriting, performance and education/participation contexts. Martin’s own written solo shows include Theology, Zugzwang and Manifesto (The Arches), Reality (The Tron) and Inner Circle (Glasgow Subway Festival). Other writing credits include The Pokey Hat (Grinagog/Culture 2014), Do You Nomi? (Grant Smeaton/Alan Greig Dance), Ch Ch Changes, Wilful Forgetting, Playing Houses (Glasgay), Platypus in Boots, Pop-Up Theatre Royal (Scottish Opera).
Other work has included Man Up! (Citizens Theatre/HMP Barlinnie), Take a Stand (National Theatre of Scotland), and The Nation//Live (Visible Fictions/National Galleries of Scotland). He recently directed Alexander McCall Smith’s Anamchara: Songs of Friendship for Scottish Opera/Culture 2014.

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Ellie Stewart writes poetry and drama, and will be a familiar name to many of us as an active supporter of all things Firefly. She is currently working on her play There is Mischief with a mentor from BBC Radio Drama. Her short play Strictly was produced at the Traverse Theatre where she also tutors young writers. Future plays will feature Tunnocks tea-cakes and orangutans.

Ellie says: ‘I’m very excited to be supporting adventurous young writers at Firefly Arts, and to be part of A Word in Your Ear. It feels like a vibrant and important project.’

A warm welcome to both. We’re looking forward to working with you!

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The Best of Contact

IMG_0547Following a 10 month process of collaborative devising, 8 young Firefly performers rolled into Manchester last month to contribute, network and perform at Contact Theatre’s bi-annual international festival, Contacting The World. This week-long fest of workshops, performance and social events drew together companies from Jamaica, India, Zambia and across the UK. As the only Scottish Company, and one of the youngest selected to perform, Firefly’s young actors and their superb performance of These Shores… firmly established the quality, craft and professionalism of Scotland’s blossoming youth arts culture.

Congratulations to all who took part, Directors Eleanor Morrison and Kirsty Byers, Contact Theatre, our Jamaican twin company, Quilt Performing Arts, and all the other companies who made this such a great and transforming experience. Especial thanks to Emma, Laura, Matthew, Anna, Adam, Ruaridh, Suzanne and Bailey for embracing this project with courage, conviction and buckets of zest.

IMG_0454It was completely different to what I was expecting. I knew we’d all get along and it would be fun, but when we finally arrived in Manchester it was crazy, like I’d met all these wonderful people before and we were all just one big family! Through all the challenges, tasks and workshops I feel I’ve gained a better understanding of the diversity of individual and cultural feelings, thoughts and beliefs. I think I’ve been oblivious to history and global culture so far, but this one week of CTW has me booking my flights to Jamaica and India! Suzanne Bell

IMG_0517I am immensely proud of our performers for all their hard work over the last 10 months, and for embracing this  process with our twin company, Quilt Performing Arts in Jamaica.  The festival itself provided a platform for theatre makers from India, Zambia, Jamaica, Corby and Manchester, and of course ourselves. Each day was jam-packed with performances, discussions and workshops –  each with their own provocation to help us learn more about the world that we live in. A testament that the Arts can open all borders  – a distance in miles, but not in hearts and minds. It was a truly inspiring event in a vibrant and diverse city, and I can happily say that Firefly held its own and embraced every challenge. I know that the legacy of Contacting the World,  the friendships, experience  and connections will keep growing –  and who knows now what the future holds!
Kirsty Byers
 

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.