Young Performers Excel Themselves

Having two young casts create, rehearse and perform to professional standards was always a big ask of Firefly staff and performers, and last weekend’s double-bill of Buckle Up and Dark Mechanics proved what an exceptionally talented and creative crew we have here in West Lothian.

Buckle Up was created by Firefly’s young writers, supported by Ellie Stewart and directed by Laura Stephen, and presented a bitter-sweet interpretation of what it means to travel and not know exactly where you belong. Humorous, poignant and lyrical, the young cast imbued their tale of home-coming with integrity, compassion and hope.

Dark Mechanics, directed by Kirsty Byers and Eleanor Morrison, took a more visceral turn  to explore the dark edges of control, the myth of progress and the deification of sociopathic forces. Hugely physical, loud, bloody and confrontational, this is not a show for the faint-hearted. The cast, a besieged batch of laboratory mice, committed wholly to grime, sweat, fear, anger and incessant scratching.The aural, bodily and emotional pounding of the work left the audience reeling, with just a glimmer of optimism.

Both productions were stunningly designed and lit by Jessica Brettle and Malcolm Rogan, and we can look forward to seeing more of them; Buckle Up will be performed at this year’s National Festival of Youth Theatre at the Gaiety Theatre in Ayr on Saturday 8th July, while Dark Mechanics will feature in the Chrysalis Festival at Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre in November.

Congratulations to everyone involved in both productions. Great work!

To view Buckle Up and Dark Mechanics publicity and programme click here

To view Buckle Up photographs by Sinclair MacKenzie click here

To view Dark Mechanics photographs by Sinclair MacKenzie click here


Sore Feet and Dark Hearts

Book your tickets now for our sumptuous summer double-bill in the Firefly Studio at Howden Park Centre, Saturday 24th (3pm and 7pm) and Sunday 25th June (3pm).

Buckle Up has been created by Firefly’s talented young writers along with dramaturg Ellie Stewart. Co-directed by Ellie and Laura Stephen, Buckle Up explores what it means to travel and not know exactly where you belong. A journey of self-discovery, truth and home-coming.

Following this month’s performance at Howden Park, Buckle Up will be performed at in Ayr’s Gaiety Theatre for the National Festival of Youth Theatre on Saturday 8th July. 

Dark Mechanics is Firefly’s entry for this year’s Chrysalis Festival. Relentlessly physical,  insidious and visceral, Dark Mechanics explores the myth of progress and the sinister forces that grind away at the heart of what we worship.

Both shows promise challenging themes, strong language and thought-provoking material. They are therefore recommended for over 14s only. Call 01506 333005 or email for more information and to book your tickets.

This Changes Everything

Congratulations to cast and production crew of This Changes Everything, Firefly’s 2017 Voyagers Performance Challenge. Produced in just 6 days, this production provided a literal, physical and emotional platform to frame an alarming tale of social, political and moral breakdown. Thankfully the inevitable bleakness of  human frailty was tempered by some beautiful, poignant and striking performances from this talented young cast.

Set on a disused platform out at sea, Joel Horwood’s story unravelled through a central scaffolding tower (a regular Firefly favourite), enabling the performers to work in the round and on a multitude of levels. Considering the time constraints of this challenge, the weighty narrative and the need to negotiate trap-doors, towers and ladders, this was an astonishing achievement for such young performers (all S1 and S2).

A huge thank you to everyone who supported this production. In particular the co-directors Kirsty Byers and Amy Wilson, designer Jess Brettle, lighting designer/scaffolder extraordinaire Malcolm Rogan, and Laura Firth for photographs..

To view This Changes Everything publicity and programme click here.

To viewThis Changes Everything photographs click here.

This Changes Everything

It’s time for our annual Voyager Performance Challenge – when young performers from our Livingston S1 & S2 drama group rehearse and perform a full production in under 6 days! This year the cast are being directed by Amy Wilson and Kirsty Byers, and will be tackling This Changes Everything by Joel Horwood.

Always a hectic, seat-of-the-pants and exhilarating production week, so join us for the (calm and collected?) public performance at 3pm on Saturday 8th April. Details below!


Welcome to 2017!

IMG_0036Firefly are up and running for 2017, with a full range of film and performance arts workshops, projects and events. See below for our Spring term after-school workshop programme.

We have two young companies working on productions for summer performance at Howden Park Centre, and are hoping that one will be selected for the National Festival of Youth Theatre in July, and the other for this year’s Chrysalis Festival at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh in November.

We are also planning further technical training for would-be Lighting and Sound designers, another young writers’ residential, and hosting our annual Voyager performance at Easter.

Watch this space for further news on all…

Meanwhile Happy 2017 – and let’s get cracking!





NORD Magic

img_7683An eerie chill descended into the Firefly Studio last weekend, as 2 casts of talented young performers treated us to a winter tale of Arctic fishing folk, unusual ice formation, a trapped Beluga whale, and some strange and dastardly visitors.

With set and costume design by Jess Brettle and lighting design by Laura Hawkins, this was an exceptionally atmospheric Firefly production, and all four audiences were treated to illuminated ice-flows, chill factor fog and icy seascapes.


But while the setting may have been minus 20 degrees, the resolve, poignancy and humour of the story-line certainly warmed our hearts. Huge congratulations therefore, to the 19 cast members, aged 8 to 19 years,who performed this winter wonder with such integrity, zest and enthusiasm. Our thanks also to Eleanor Morrison, Kirsty Byers and Amy Wilson as Writer, Co-Directors and Assistant Director.

An excellent precursor for the festive season! Our thanks to all performers, their families, audience, tech and production crew who helped create this fantastic NORD magic.

View the NORD programme, featuring everyone involved, here.

Click here to view the production photographs by Sinclair MacKenzie



NORD ….coming soon!

Firefly’s whale of a winter show, NORD, is on it’s way. With 2 casts of young performers aged 8 to 18, NORD will charm all the family!

Friday 2nd December at 7pm: Tickets still available £8 (£4)

Saturday 3rd December at 3pm: Tickets still available £8 (£4)

Saturday 3rd December at 7pm: Tickets still available £8 (£4)

Sunday 4th December: Sold out.

Book yourselves some winter magic by calling 01506 333005
or email



November Newsletter


Its been a jam-packed term this autumn, so a special thank-you to all Firefly families, carers and supporters who ferry their budding young writers, actors and film-makers to various events, workshops and performances. Much appreciated by us all!

Weekly drama and film workshops have been running well. In particular this term’s Writers’ Challenge, which asked each workshop group to write short scripts for another workshop group to direct and perform. In other words, we have 8 year olds writing scripts for 18 year olds to perform, and vice-versa! We’re really looking forward to seeing some of this work at Linlithgow Burgh Halls and Howden Park Centre later this month.IMG_4542IMG_2626IMG_0102

This term also…  Firefly have been delighted to support Korr Records in continuing their Band Together sessions for young people with autism, while our own drama and creative play workshops at Beatlie and Woodmuir primary schools have also been great fun.

Meanwhile those of you unfortunate enough to have had to visit Livingston’s St John’s Hospital may have been cheered up by the fabulous array of artwork, writing and photography by Firefly’s A Word In Your Ear participants. Developed in partnership with Artlink Edinburgh, this exhibition was a great excuse to hold another AWIYE celebration of writing, live performance and film. Huge thanks to all contributors, performers, artists and supporters, and to all who came along.


West Lothian’s young writers seem to be popping up everywhere, and were sighted on a Writers’ Residential last weekend in the wilds of Torphican, attacking the outdoor assault course, making fires, burning marshmallows, and generally being creative.img_145920161105_141257

And there’s plenty more to come. Don’t miss…

West Lothian Celebrating Youth Work. Deans Community High School
Thursday 10th November, 6.30pm
Live performance from A Word In Your Ear participants
Bloody Girls at Platform, Easterhouse Arts Centre
Saturday 12th November at 3pm. Tickets £8.50 (£5, £4). Call 0141 276 9696.
Another chance to see this fierce Firefly production
Call 0141 276 9696
Chrysalis Youth Theatre Festival. Traverse Theatre Edinburgh
Fridy 18th to Sunday 20th November.
Firefly trip for both shows on Friday 18th
Parkour Pathways at Howden Park Centre
Saturday 19th November. 12-4pm. To book call 01506 33005
Parkour for beginners – test out your moves!
Firefly book launch at Armadale Library’s Book Week Scotland event
Friday 25th November, 2.30pm
Our talented Young Writers launch their second collection
Finally let’s not forget Firefly’s whale of a winter Show, NORD.
A treat for all the family! Book your tickets early to avoid disappointment.
Friday 2nd December 7pm
Saturday 3rd December 3pm & 7pm
Sunday 4th December 3pm
Tickets £8 (£4)nbannerr
So buckle up, take a deep breathe and get yourself over to Firefly.
And for more information on any of the above call 01506 333005,
or email


See you soon,
Joanna, Eleanor, Laura, Kirsty, Amy, Alison, Ellie, Kate and Rosie