A Warm Welcome for Firefly Writers In Residence…

Firefly are delighted 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!

Call Out For Young Writers

Do you have a great idea, but don’t know how to put it into words?
Enjoy creating, but never quite get around to making things happen?

Informal, fun and friendly, The Writing Group restarts on
Monday 10th of November. Sessions run every two weeks,
6.30-8.30pm, on the Firefly balcony at Howden Park Centre.
Come along to share work, thoughts, rough drafts, hints and tips
– and make ideas happen!
These sessions are self-run by young writers.
For more information contact matthewswan@live.co.uk

Welcome back!

IMG_1181Welcome 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


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