Welcome back to Firefly’s Autumn/Winter season.The Firefly team are ready to roll, and looking forward to 3 jam-packed months of theatre antics, drama shenanigans, film-buffery and a whole lot more besides. Firefly’s weekly workshop programme is now up and running – with progressive theatre and film sessions running in Livingston, Bathgate and Linlithgow. Some workshops are already full, but we are looking to increase our intake in Bathgate and have introduced 54TOO, a new senior company in Livingston on Friday afternoons.
Outreach and schools projects have started in Blackridge and Blackburn – with more planned for Bathgate, Armadale and Livingston. There are also rumours of a Firefly Ceilidh, collaboration with Director Tim Licata on Howden Park Centre’s Christmas show, and another great October Week drama project for 8 to 12 years olds.
See you soon…
Eleanor, Laura, Anna, Kirsty, Geraldine, Jen, Rosie, Euan, Alison and Joanna
Following 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.
It 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
I 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!
Term starts again from the first week in September. Call 01506 333005 or email email@example.com to book a place on one of our weekly workshops. Some of the workshops are already full, so please get in touch to book a place.
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.View more photos from BiRD here.
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!
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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!.
For more information and to book a place on any of the above, call 01506 333005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. See you in the summer…