(Scots Law) A common; a piece of land in which two or more persons have a common right.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Ryan Youth Theatre And Dumfries Junior Guild In Double Performance

From Sid Ambrose, DG Unlimited Wigtownshire Area Arts Convenor

My head was very warm recently, which was no doubt due to the fact that l was in Stranraer's Ryan Theatre whilst wearing two hats. Hat number one represented my role as Wigtownshire Arts Hub Convenor, while hat number two signified the work l do for the Kirkcudbright based South West Scotland Sectarian project. In my case this explains the line from the old song “Where did you get that hat”.

Anyway moving on, The Ryan Youth Theatre delivered a powerful performance, on their home turf to a packed audience. Their production called Freedom Square was inspired by the turbulent events which took place in George Square, Glasgow on the eve of the Scottish referendum. Sectarianism, bigotry, love and nationalism were the key themes in the script which was written by celebrated playwright Des Dillon.

the cast from Ryan Youth Theatre rehearsing for Freedom Square
The play was commissioned by Wigtown Festival Company which received a grant from the Voluntary Action Fund small grants to sectarianism programme. Joining them in a double bill were young people from Dumfries junior guild under the tutelage of James Napper who delivered a performance titled “Unite Don't Fight” which was based around sectarianism and gang culture. The two shows were followed by a lively audience discussion on sectarianism and tolerance which was chaired by literature development officer Carolyn Yates.

James Napper who worked and starred with the Junior Guild
My twin hatted role involved linking the Ryan Youth Theatre up with the Stranraer based African Drummers, for both groups this created a new working environment and the sum of the parts i.e. youth theatre and percussion based performers was very definitely greater than the whole. I also suggested the double billing show which saw young people from Dumfries travelling across to Stranraer to perform in tandem with their counterparts. Similarly all three groups worked together to perform in New Galloway the following evening.

Carolyn Yates felt that the performances had been a credit to all of the young people involved and she was keen to thank all of those who had worked hard to bring the script to life, the Ryan Centre staff were singled out for special praise for their input on technical production, catering and general support.

The Ryan Youth Theatre performances in Stranraer saw young people working alongside a professional director in the form of Chris Taylor, the script was devised by Garlieston based playwright Des Dillon who is most famous for his comedy show called “Singing I’m no a billy he's a tim”. In addition they received direction from a specialist in stage movement and Blocking and they were able to choreograph the scenes to a live music accompaniment. All in all these skills and new working relationships incrementally strengthen the arts sector in Wigtownshire, and l am happy to play my part in supporting this even if it does require the odd change of hat.

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