Welcome to Firefly 2016

Welcome back for another fun-filled, drama-packed, multi-media year of Firefly workshops, productions, school and community arts projects.

Our first production of the year is Humming. Originally created by young production company, Filament, for the Chrysalis Theatre festival, Humming has been reworked for a home show on 29th January, followed by a series of performances and workshops at Fife College, Platform Glasgow and Armadale Academy.NewHumPoster

We’re also delighted to announce that Firefly has been selected for the National Theatre of Scotland’s 2016 Exchange programme, which brings together theatre-makers from Scotland, the USA and New Zealand to create work to perform at Stirling’s Macrobert Arts Centre in July. This  promises to be a great adventure for our new company of ten Firefliers, who are working on this project under the expert guidance of Kirsty Byers and Eleanor Morrison.


Following the triumph of their production of Macbeth at the Shakespeare Schools Festival,  the Firefly team are happy to be back  working with students at Pinewood school.This time on a film project. We’re also looking forward to the last of our current A Word in Your Ear projects which involve young artists, writers, musicians and performers from across West Lothian. Watch this space for news of the Word In Your Ear Gatherin’ from  22nd to 28th February, which will bring together artwork, recordings, new writing, film and performance from this fabulous project.

Finally, don’t forget our weekly theatre, film and drama workshops that take place at Howden Park Centre, The Regal Bathgate and Linlithgow Burgh Halls throughout the term.

Spring 16

For more information of any of the above, to book a workshop place or order tickets for Humming, please call 01506 333005 or email admin@firefly-arts.co.uk.


SnowHoper Triumphs!

xMAS15Congratulations to cast and production team of  Firefly’s winter show, Tilly SnowHoper, who treated us to 4 fantastic performances last weekend. Set in a snow-globe, Tilly tells the story of a town that needs to work collectively to restore the light and shimmer. With a science-obsessed heroine, a posse of adventurers, one neurotic mayor and three mysterious oddballs playing Twister, this show entertained on a myriad of levels.


Tilly was written by Kirsty Byers and directed by Laura Stephen and Anna Humphries, with assistant director Amy Wilson. With 2 casts of young actors aged 8 to 18, the complexity of this production has been a roller-coaster of a ride. But we definitely finished on top, with excellent performances, some quirky humour, lots of science and, of course, that elusive shimmer (which varied in each performance from a gentle flutter to a near blizzard!)


Huge thanks to all our young performers and their families, who committed so fully to the project and helped us to create such a beautiful show. Thanks also to Jess Brettle for her wonderful design, Malcolm Rogan for lighting and essential snow management, Polly Philips for musical direction, Izzy Ross for the show-stopping choreography and Sinclair MacKenzie for some cracking photos.


For more Tilly SnowHoper photos click here.

For the Tilly SnowHoper programme see here.



Winter Magic Here at Firefly…

Living on a tilt, with a town-full of over-stressed adults and very little light, it’s simply not enough to dream of better times.Tilly is a girl with a purpose, and sometimes you have to break the rules to make things happen…


Firefly’s winter show is on its way! Join us for Tilly SnowHoper at Howden Park Centre on 4th, 5th and 6th December. Written by Kirsty Byers, directed by Laura Stephen and Anna Humphries, designed by Jess Brettle and featuring young performers from 8 to 18 years, this fabulous new show promises frosted fun, some midwinter magic and seasonal sparkle for all ages.

Tickets are moving fast, so book soon
by calling 01506 333005 or email admin@firefly-arts.co.uk



Autumn Happenings

Firefly’s busy Autumn term is under way, and we are already up to our ears in workshops, projects and events. Highlights include:

Firefly’s winter show is now in rehearsal. Join us for pre-Christmas fun and magic with four performances, 4th, 5th and 6th December.
We’re delighted to be working with a talented young cast from Pinewood School, who will be performing at the Shakespeare Schools Festival at Platform on Tuesday 17th November. Directed by Kirsty Byers, there will be a home show in Blackburn on Friday 13th November – so appropriate!
Firefly are nurturing our own clan of Eco-Warriers through this new project in collaboration with Creative Carbon Scotland. With international climate-change talks in Paris at the end of November, the group are devising a series of site-specific pieces for linked climate-change events across Scotland.
Following the success of last year’s smoking cessation film project, Firefly are once again working with Falla Hill Primary’s enthusiastic young performers and film-makers. This time to raise greater awareness of alcohol-related issues. Supported by West Lothian Drug and Alcohol Services, and led by the children themselves, we seem to be on track for another kid-wise and thoughtful community resource.
Our West Lothian-wide youth arts development project just continues to grow – with visual arts, fab film and media activity, and mentoring for young writers. Watch this space for news on the Word In Your Ear gathering in February 2016

Firefly AWIYE Scarves

 ..and so much more besides; including our after-school film and drama workshops, contemporary theatre and young production companies, training and outreach programmes. For more information on workshops, productions, projects and all things Firefly call 01506 333005 or email admin@firefly-arts.co.uk


Summer Luvvies

The weather may have been disappointing, but young Firefiers have had a great summer of drama, performance,creative play, music  film and writing events. Highlights include the 4 day National  Festival of Youth Theatre where 10 young people (undeterred by leaking tents) presented recent film-work and immersed themselves in workshops, performances, ceilidh and open-mic events.photo

Drama fun and performance projects took place in Linlithgow and Armadale, giving us a chance to meet lots of new faces, while our Cabaret project at Howden Park Centre showcased the diverse (and often illuminating) talents of both participants and staff.

F-Gaze, this year’s summer film project, involved an intrepid all-girl film crew filming an all-boy dance group in the wilds of the Kilpatrick Hills. Over-coming cold, wet and windy conditions, and the challenging terrain of  Devils Pulpit and The Whangie, these young film-makers will have surely earned that elusive Firefly Endurance Badge.FGaze01

Our final summer project, 3 Days In Summer, offered our growing number of young writers the opportunity to share work, inspiration, ideas and food in the beautiful surroundings of Beecraigs Country Park.

A highly productive summer then – and all made possible by our excellent team of staff, volunteers and associate artists. Huge thanks to the following for making 2015 a great summer!  Alison Cockcroft, Anna Humphries, Ellie Stewart, Geraldine Heaney, Jen Randall, Kirsty Byers, Laura Stephen, Natali McCleary, Polly Phillips and Rosie Reid. image

Meanwhile see below for Firefly’s autumn term of workshops, projects, training and performance events which restart on Monday 31st August. See you soon….  Autumn 15




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
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