L-R Sophie Valdrighi, Cllr Ann Galbraith, Fraser Watson, Cllr Margaret Toner, Actress Sarah McCardie, Cllr William Grant, Callum Blair, Christy Watson
Hundreds of young people have given a national theatre company the warmest of welcomes following a series of performances at a South Ayrshire school. The Council arranged the move in partnership with Theatre in Schools Scotland, as part of its first Scotland-wide tour.
The Theatre in Schools Scotland programme is touring two award-winning, internationally recognised productions to primary schools: 'Martha' presented by Catherine Wheels Theatre Company, and 'Shopping for Shoes' by Visible Fictions. Children from Cairn and St Cuthbert Primaries joined with young people at Gardenrose Primary School in Maybole, with more than 440 people enjoying the performances in total.
After seeing 'Shopping for Shoes, Sophie Valdrighi (9) said the performance was great, "It was funny because the shoes were like people. It was really, really good, and I hope they come back soon."
Callum Blair (9) agreed, "The play was so funny. There were shoes like old ladies and that made me laugh. It made me think, too, and I'd really like to see more."
Theatre in Schools Scotland is a new initiative which ultimately aims to make sure that every child in Scotland receives, at their nursery or school, a minimum of one performing arts production, per year, as a core part of their education. The initiative has been created as a pilot project, which will expand in the next three years, exploring different models for touring theatre into schools.
Councillor Margaret Toner, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Lifelong Learning, said the visit was a major coup for the area, "Children from several of our schools have been able to see live performances by first-class actors from Theatre in Schools Scotland.
"For many people this would have been their very first experience of seeing a live performance, and it will have been all the more memorable for experiencing these thought provoking and fun plays so close to home.
"With messages aimed at different age groups all our children took something positive away from their experience, and I'd like to thank everyone involved for helping to make this happen."
Theatre in Schools Scotland has been developed by the National Theatre of Scotland and Imaginate in partnership with leading performing arts companies for children and young people; Catherine Wheels Theatre Company, Visible Fictions and Starcatchers. Theatre in Schools Scotland is supported by The Scottish Salmon Company and Arts & Business Scotland.
Paul Fitzpatrick, Theatre in Schools Scotland partner, said, "It's our aspiration that ultimately every child in Scotland will see world-class theatre in their school every year.
"I've been really inspired by how the local authorities, the National Theatre of Scotland, Imaginate and the partner companies have got behind the project, which is about giving children in Scotland the very best childhood they can have."