Firefly Autumn Workshops

Having smashed it at this year’s National Festival of Youth Theatre (well done guys! See NFYT photos here), Team Firefly are now prepping for our summer holiday projects. Just a few places left, so get in touch double quick if you don’t want to miss out on all the fun.

Meanwhile don’t get so carried away with summer fun that you forget to register for our Autumn workshop programme. We’ve made some changes, so give us a call or email if you need more information before you book.

Creating Chaos and Facing Fear….

Congratulations to both casts, production and technical teams that put together Firefly’s sumptuous summer double-bill last weekend. Its been a huge amount of work, in particular for directors Kirsty Byers and Miriam Larrainzar, but the achievements of these young people and the quality of both performances were tremendous.

First on was Titus, created by our Bathgate Navigator group and after Shakespeare’s most gory play, Titus Andronicus. Beheadings, mutilations and people baked in pies are just some of the dastardly deeds in this searing tale of lust, madness and revenge. The young performers (P7 to S2) delivered Shakespeare’s text with passion and expression, alternating with now-speak to enable their shell-shocked audience to catch up on some of the more complex story-lines. An absolute treat to watch, Titus was shocking, fast-paced, beautifully produced and hilarious.

Second on was Firefly young company’s devised piece, Have Heart Know Fear. Sparsely staged with 6 performers wielding huge metal frames, this strange and dream-like production led us into a mirror-world of pain, fear, cause and effect. With strong and confident performances, the cast created a poignant, arresting and, at times, discomforting insight into the human condition. A significant achievement for all involved, not least for the level of open emotion required.

Have Heart Know Fear will be performed again at the National Festival of Youth Theatre at the Gaiety Theatre, Ayr on Friday 5th July.

Our thanks to everyone involved in these productions. Both shows were teched by young people who recently completed Firefly Theatre Tech training, stoically supported  by Lighting Designer Malcolm Rogan. They were fabulously designed and costumed by Jessica Brettle. Thanks also to Sinclair MacKenzie for the production photos.

Last but certainly not least, huge thanks to all the young people involved, their families and carers, and Team Firefly for their continued support in increasingly challenging times!

View Titus and Have Heart Know Fear publicity and programme here.

View Titus photographs by Sinclair MacKenzie here.

View Have Heart Know Fear photographs by Sinclair MacKenzie here.

Dreamy, Dark and Dastardly – Firefly Summer Productions

Don’t miss out on Firefly’s sumptuous summer double bill on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th June. Our Bathgate Voyagers will kick off with Titus, a unique interpretation of Shakespeare’s non-stop pot-boiler, Titus Andronicus;  and closely followed by Have Heart Know Fear, a devised and dream-like piece by Firefly’s Young Company.

Have Heart Know Fear will be performed again at the Gaiety Theatre Ayr, on Friday 5th July for the National Festival of Youth Theatre.

Some strong content, so performances are suitable for ages10+. For tickets and further information call 01506 333005 or email admin@firefly-arts.co.uk.

See you there!

 

Summer Fun at Firefly

Welcome back, primed and fortified with Easter chocolate, for a packed and fun-filled summer term. We’ve a wide range of workshops, activities, projects, events, rehearsals and performance lined up over the next few months, including our regular after-school drama and film-making workshops at Howden Park Centre, St Mary’s Church Hall in Bathgate, and Low Port Centre in Linlithgow. See below for details.

This term’s school, outreach and community projects are running in partnership with Bathgate Academy, New Directions West Lothian, #Junx10n, Linlithgow Heritage Trust, Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Primary Schools, and West Lothian’s MCMC team. Key events include:

Firefly Club-Nites (extraordinary dance events for extraordinary people) at Howden Park Centre on Fridays 3rd and 31st May.

Curious Histories. Interactive performances on Wednesday 1st and Thursday 9th May to mark the re-opening of Linlithgow Museum by children at local primary schools.

SkyLight Technical Training. Theatre lighting skills, with Malcolm Rogan, for aspiring technicians on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th May.

The Duchess of Malfi at the Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh. Opportunity for our older participants to experience a new and contemporary take on Webster’s dark and gory tale of revenge.

Not forgetting Firefly’s fabulous summer double-bill at Howden Park Centre on Friday 7th June and Saturday 8th June. Bathgate Voyagers tackle Shakespeare’s bloodiest play, Titus Andronicus, and send it flying! While Firefly’s Theatre Lab performers debut their devised work, Have Heart Know Fear, which they will take to the National Festival of Youth Theatre in Ayr in July.

Meanwhile keep up with happenings, news and events through Firefly’s Facebook and Instagram sites, email admin@firefly-arts.co.uk or call us on 01506 333005.

Severe Weather and Sudden Cancellation Information

Time to remind all Firefly families and carer of workshop cancellation arrangements, should we be stricken by severe weather conditions, plague, or sudden venue closure.

  • Firstly, check Firefly’s website and Facebook pages. We will post any sudden cancellation or venue change here. In severe weather conditions, we will update these on a daily basis.
  • Please don’t drop children off for workshops or projects without checking that staff are there and the activity is going ahead.
  • If in any doubt contact us by phone 01506 333005, by Facebook messenger or email admin@firefly-arts.co.uk.

If your child or young person is due to attend activity that has had to be cancelled, we will phone and email the emergency contacts on their registration form. It is essential for the safety of your child that this information is up to date.

 

Welcome to 2019

Welcome back to a brand new year of fantastic theatre, film, dance, writing and visual arts activity. We’re determined not to let seasonal chill, political uncertainty and economic gloom stop us from delivering a jam-packed youth arts programme for communities across West Lothian. Keep an eye on this site and our facebook page to keep updates on workshops, projects and events, including…

Weekly after-school workshops start back for a 12-week term on Monday 14th January. See below for details, and we hope to see you soon!

WINTER JAM

Congratulations to everyone involved in this year’s rollicking, hip-hop, feel-good winter show, JAMMED. This talented cast of feisty shakers and breakers treated us to a fabulous tale of an outraged community working together to out-wit the ultra-cool hipsters out to bulldoze their neighbourhood. A task that took the combined resources of some big-hearted hip-hoppers, drain-dwelling militarists, a mutated goldfish, action-packed pigeons, and a small but mighty council administrator, to achieve.

With captivating characters, great dance moves, class wrapping, iconic music and an immersive urban set, this show offered a heart-warming twist on 1980’s hip-hop culture, underpinned by sharply observed contemporary social and environmental comment.

The success of JAMMED is a credit to the commitment, hard work and talent of our young people, including the trainee technicians and stage hands (eagle-eyed audience members on Saturday evening may have noticed our professional technician, Malky, relegated to operating the hazer machine while our trainees ran the lighting without him).

None of this magic would have come together without the skills, expertise and patience of an ace production team: Co-directors, Kirsty Byers and Eleanor Morrison (Eleanor also wrote the show), set and costume designer, Jess Brettle, lighting design by the aforementioned, Malcom Rogan, choreography by Isobel Ross, vocal support from Morgan Gilday, sound and stage management by Firefly’s Intern, Miriam Larrainzar.

A huge thank you also to Firefly supporters who helped with box office and the get out after the final show on Saturday night. We couldn’t have managed without you.

And did the flipsters thwart the hipsters? Was the heart of the community saved, the  festive spirit salvaged? Of course! And all in time for Christmas…

  • View production photographs by Sinclair MacKenzie here
  • View the JAMMED programme and publicity here

Firefly on Film

Firefly isn’t just for stage bunnies. Film-making and media skills feature regularly in our partnership work with schools, outreach and community projects. Whether it’s an issue-based documentary, an experimental art film, a traditional film short, or a digital snapshot of life in West Lothian – our films are all created with and by young people. Ably supported by Firefly’s network of specialist professional film-makers, of course. Here are just a few of our favourites. Grab the popcorn and treat yourself…

getintheplantpot. Click here.

Created by Firefly’s Friday Filmies, this surreal short film was developed and shot in 2018 to build location, sound and production skills.Highly entertaining, slightly weird and well worth a watch.Supported by film-maker Kate Burton. 8min.

The Old Lie. Click here.

This award-winning film started life as a project to encourage more young women to take part in film-making, and to challenge gender stereotypes within the industry. Bringing together an all-female film crew with an all-male dance group and shot on location in the wild and windy summer of 2015, The Old Lie is an experimental dance film which explores themes of war and innocence. It takes inspiration from Wilfred Owen’s Dulce et Decorum Est and Tom Waits’ Hell Broke Luc. Tom himself was so impressed with this film that he granted Firefly personal permission to use the track. Supported by film-maker Jen Randall and choreographer Natali McCleary. 4.20min.

Inveralmond. Click here.

A heart-warming, feel-good film of a 10-month performance project which focused on the meaning of Community. It was created with students from Inveralmond Community High School in 2018, and features Harrysmuir Primary School, The Elderberry Project, Inveralmond Early Years and Ladywell Nurseries. Film-maker Lauren McDonaugh. 12min

River Where. Click here.

Yellow Poncho Alert! A fun, fabulous and nearly environmentally-friendly film project from 2017, which aimed to encourage young people to get outside, explore the local river Almond, and gain greater awareness of how it has shaped our community. Supported by film-maker Kate Burton. 15.11min.

Young Writers’ Summer Residential. Click here.

A lyrical glimpse into an idyllic 2018 summer residential. Starring Firefly’s talented young writers. Film-maker Lauren McDonaugh, with writer-in-residence Ellie Stewart. 2.15min.

Common Ground. Click here.

‘Running away isn’t always the answer’.  A timeless and not-to-be-missed favourite from 2013, created, filmed and performed by young people, Common Ground is a bitter-sweet short film about friendship and growing up in West Lothian. Supported by film-maker Jen Randall. 10.08min.

These are just a few of the films created by our talented young film and media specialists over the years. You can view a wider selection on Firefly’s Vimeo site: