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.
- 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 email@example.com.
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 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…
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:
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…
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!
Hope to see you soon!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 01506 333005.