Last year at our annual Toon In Speak Out event, where we gather feedback from our participants, a group of over 40 young people were assembled and asked what they would like achieve with us in 2017.
They came back with a musical in a theatre with posters around the city advertising their show
And guess what! We did it!
The whole process started with writing workshops as part of our Masterclass series last year. A group of young people from across Glasgow worked on songs and script with writer David Cosgrove and musical director John Kielty. Libby McArthur, who also ran Masterclasses with the young people was asked to direct our show.
A year later our funding came through and the wheels set in motion. We held 7 weeks of bootcamp with 40 young people attending weekly to get tasters in song making, dance and devising to see how they could work together under the guidance of Steven Leach with the likes of Libby, David and John working with them as well as choreographer Courtney Bailey Allen and musician Brian O’ Sullivan.
This was a great experience, and gave everyone the opportunity to see what it takes to make a musical.
The final script was also developed with a group made of cast and the Young Artist Team over this period. All written by young people guided by David.
The final cast assembled on July 10th and worked intensively over the following 3 weeks learning the script, choreography and developing the songs with our fantastic creative team.
Another massive feat achieved was that the whole show was run by young people mentored by industry professionals. Everything from lights and sound, to props, costume and calling the entire show. You can read more about this here, and take a look at some of them in action below.
It was definitely a massive challenge, and everyone had their melts at times, understandably. But each crisis of confidence was met with utmost support, and the whole environment was that of hard work and respect.
We are immensely proud of each and every young person who made up this company. The Tron staff mentioned how great everyone was, how polite and well mannered. And we were a sell out! So they were super happy too.
The final performances blew all of us away. To learn this much in such a short period, to look so comfortable on stage, to pull off the choreography and sound so beautiful. The whole creative team had tears in their eyes. Take a look at these fab production shots by the ever talented photographer Kevin Main.
And the the speeches, poems, personal thank yous that came at the end of the night were something we will never forget.
If you missed the show the film will be released in the next few weeks.
And look out for an even bigger show in 2018 for the Year of Young People!
And so to our list of thank yous
Libby McArthur (Director), Jools Walls (Producer and Production Manager), John Kielty (Musical Director), David Cosgrove (Dramaturg), Steven Leach (Assistant Director), Laura Hawkins (LX Designer), Merlin Currie (Costume Designer), Fionn Corbett (Design Assistant), James Browning (Stage Manager), Marie Hnatova (Marketing Officer), Hannah Innes (Press Officer).
Special thanks to:
Tron Theatre, Merchant City Festival, Creative Scotland, Glasgow Community Planning Partnership, Foyle Foundation, Brian O’ Sullivan, Courtney Bailey Allen, Brian Hartley, Mark Ritchie, MacRobert Arts Centre, Cumbernauld Theatre, St. Paul’s Parish Church, Maryhill Community Central Halls, Citizens Theatre, Glasgow CAN, Barmulloch Community Development Centre.