The Gates


The last of Firefly’s 3 summer shows, The Gates, rampaged it’s way through the Firefly Studio last weekend. Devised by Livingston’s Company 54 and directed by Kirsty Byers, this production didn’t hold back in its depiction of the bureaucracy, politics and general mayhem of teenagers trapped in transition between heaven and hell.

Combining strong performance with celestial dance routines and cutting social commentary, this production took no prisoners. While not afraid to parody themselves on stage, this young cast’s sense of off-stage camaraderie shone through.

Congratulations to all who contributed to this confident and live-wire production, in particular Jess Brettle and Malcolm Rogan for their wonderfully whacky set, costume and lighting design, and Sinclair MacKenzie for photography.IMG_0036IMG_0063

To see more photos from The Gates look here (photos by Sinclair MacKenzie)

To see The Gates programme look here


IMG_0026Linlithgow’s Company LA produced quality performance and inspired staging of Kafka’s Metamorphosis last weekend. Congratulations to all who performed and worked on this ambitious project, the dark and predatory tale of a young man who wakes to find he has turned into a beetle. The repercussions of this transformation move quickly from the young man himself to the the wider world of family, work and social norm. Sadly, in this case, love only goes so far.

Directed in the round by Anna Humphries, with the giant beetle (made up of 4 performers) imprisoned in an eerily lit scaffolding tower, this was a strikingly visual and provocative   production.The quality of set and lighting design (Jess Brettle and Malcolm Rogan) created an immersive experience for the audience from the start, and contributed greatly to an excellent night of seriously good theatre from this talented young cast.

Click here to view the programme for Metamorphosis
Click here to view more photographs from Metamorphosis
(Images by Sinclair MacKenzie) Mstrip1 Mstrip2



IMG_0564Congratulations to the cast and production team for last week’s performance of Humming in the Firefly Studio. This devised piece (by our Young Production Company, Filament) is set in a painting and decorating apprenticeship workshop, where characters unravel through a barrage of word-games, physical theatre, film and wall-papering. Funny, unsettling and given to bouts of fantasy, performances were excellent throughout – and this production represents a significant move forward for Firefly and young adult performers in West Lothian.

Humming has been devised for Youth Theatre Arts Scotland’s Chrysalis programme, and despite the professionalism of last week’s show, is very much a work-in-progress.Thanks to all the performers who committed so readily to this project, to Kirsty Byers for pulling the work together and directing, Jess Brettle for costume and design, Malcolm Rogan for lighting design, Izzy Ross for choreography, Laura Firth for film and Sinclair MacKenzie for photography.

Special thanks also to Brian Mcgown at West Lothian College for essential wallpapering lessons. Thankfully none of the cast are, as yet, relying on their decorating skills to earn a living!

Click here to view the programme for Humming

Click here to view the photographs for Humming

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


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…


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


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.


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!


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