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!


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:

And We’re Back…..

Firefly are back for 14 weeks of high drama, film, digital arts, new writing, dance and performance fun. If you haven’t signed up for a weekly workshop yet, then take another look below.

Information on auditions, rehearsal and performance dates for Firefly’s annual Winter Show will be out soon, and we’ll be starting up our autumn PILOT and SkyLight community projects soon.


Sign Up Now For Autumn Workshops

Fabulous Firefly will soon be back for a jam-packed autumn programme of theatre skills, film and youth arts workshops, projects, training and events. Check out our new workshop groups starting up in Bathgate… 

… and our senior youth theatre group, Company LA, in Linlithgow.

There’s still time to book your workshop place (if you haven’t done so already). If you are new  to Firefly’s after-school workshop programme, then you are welcome to try before you buy – but do book first!

See below for all weekly workshop details. For more information call us on 01506 333005 or email admin@firefly-arts.co.uk for more information.

Hope to see you soon!

RAIN: A Flood of Young Talent

Image by Rhys Sutherland/Dundee rep

The Firefly Studio hosted two very different productions last weekend, with Firefly’s home performance of RAIN (first performed at Dundee Rep in May) and Platform Young Company’s contemporary work, Shaking the Habitual.

RAIN flowed from initial humour and relish to an increasing flood of social and material disintegration. Directed by Kirsty Byers and Eleanor Morrison, and devised by the company, this production is the end point of a creative process that explored a wealth of ideas, cultural references, literature, social, political and scientific research; a process that plays a significant role in enabling young people to push themselves beyond their comfort zones, and renegotiate their relationships with an increasingly complex world.

“I really loved how we made the show, using improvisation to build our own characters, write our own words. We make serious stuff that is good, using a mix of different performance styles. I like that you have to pay attention to our work to understand what is going on.”

Visually arresting, confident and thought-provoking, this production showcased some excellent performances from Firefly old-hands (with four off to Uni next term) along with some of our younger emerging talent. Our thanks to Jess Brettle for wonderful set and costume design, and Malcolm Rogan for lighting.

Our thanks also to Platform’s Young Company for their performance of Shaking The Habitual, a uniform and formulaic piece exploring both the reinforcement and inevitable breakdown of habitual behaviours.

To view the RAIN programme and publicity click here.

To view RAIN Images by Sinclair MacKenzie, click here.

Images by Sinclair MacKenzie


Following a debut performance at Dundee Rep’s Next Up Festival, there’s an intriguing forecast for Firefly’s summer production this June. Devised by the company and directed by Kirsty Byers and Eleanor Morrison, RAIN builds steadily from a welcome stream to an altogether more sinister and unstoppable force of nature – humorous, playful and, as bloated fragments of life flow by, increasingly alarming.

Restricted seats available at both performances. Avoid disappointment and book your tickets early at admin@firefly-arts.co.uk, or call 01506 333005.

Recommended age for this production is 12+.

Summer Term on its Way….

Its definitely spring, and nearly summer, here at Firefly. We hope you all have a great Easter break and come back ready for action. Meanwhile here are some reminders for what’s coming up.

For those of you involved in Firefly’s Redemption Road programme we have a 2 day holiday project on Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th April. Places on this project are limited, so if you’ve not been to a Redemption Road workshop before please contact Kirsty on kirsty@firefly-arts.co.uk.

Development days, for young people involved with our upcoming production of Rain for Dundee’s Next Up festival in May, are scheduled for Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th.

Firefly’s 2018 summer term will be jam-packed with performance, starting with Livingston’s Company 54 and Linlithgow’s Company LA  performing at Howden Park Centre in April, 2 Navigator groups showcasing their murder/mystery productions in May, and a double bill with Platform Young Company at Howden Park Centre in June.

Add to that our Redemption Road music projects, Young Writers’ events, training and partnership work with HYPE, the Inveralmond community and Bathgate Academy (not forgetting our talented young film-makers), and we’ve got plenty to be getting on with!

Hope to see you soon,