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
 
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