Staged! event starts Dreams fes­ti­val

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - FRONT PAGE - Sharon Lip­trott

Packed au­di­ence for per­for­mance

Young peo­ple from across the re­gion took part in the Dreams for the Fu­ture Fes­ti­val launch at a packed Dum­fries Academy on Satur­day night.

The Staged! event show­cased the ex­cep­tional skills of young­sters and their men­tors who put on a fab­u­lous evening of drama, mu­sic and dance at the place where Peter Pan au­thor JM Bar­rie went to school from 1873-8.

Dreams – part of Scot­land’s Year of Young Peo­ple – is giv­ing a fore­taste of what Moat Brae will of­fer when it opens in the spring as the na­tional cen­tre for chil­dren’s lit­er­a­ture and sto­ry­telling.

Staged! in­cluded Bar­rie’s Legacy play by the academy drama club set up by him­self and his friends and a short play called The Re­union by 16 to 26-year-olds with ad­di­tional needs who are part of the Dum­fries Arts Awards Pro­gramme.

There was also the first fully staged pro­duc­tion since the 1870s of Bar­rie’s first play, Ban­delero the Ban­dit, which was pre­sented by The The­atre Royal Ju­nior Guild of Play­ers.

The packed au­di­ence also en­joyed the world pre­miere of mu­sic by young com­poser Pa­trick Dupuy called Peter Pan Moat Brae which was per­formed by the Dum­fries and Gal­loway Schools Ensem­ble with a per­for­mance by Dum­fries School of Dance.

The guest of hon­our was the ac­tress and au­thor Joanna Lum­ley, who is pa­tron of the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust and helped raise £5.8 mil­lion to re­store the beau­ti­ful Ge­or­gian house and gar­den which in­spired Bar­rie’s clas­sic tale of Peter Pan.

She said: “It’s won­der­ful to see the way Moat Brae is be­ing brought back to life and given a new fu­ture that will make it a place of fun and in­spi­ra­tion to gen­er­a­tions of chil­dren and young peo­ple.

“And it’s re­ally ex­cit­ing for me to be able to see the im­pact Moat Brae is hav­ing, even be­fore it opens, by cre­at­ing this fes­ti­val where young peo­ple are able to de­velop and use their tal­ents.”

Dame Bar­bara Kelly, trust chairman, added: “We were de­lighted to have Joanna here to see all that’s been achieved and to have her as a guest of hon­our at the fes­ti­val launch.

“Dreams for the Fu­ture of­fers a glimpse of our plans for the years ahead and the way we want chil­dren to be at the heart of every­thing we do.”

The fes­ti­val con­tin­ued on Mon­day with a Take Flight Lec­ture by Tam Bail­lie at Moat Brae fol­lowed by cre­ative writ­ing work­shops and a talk by au­thor Cathy Cas­sidy on Tues­day.

To­mor­row there will be Mutiny at Moat Brae as the keys have been taken from Cap­tain Hook by the JMB Creatives group who are giv­ing vis­i­tors a peek in­side the birth­place of Peter Pan. All the free tours are fully booked.

The fes­ti­val ends on Sun­day with the CrocRock! Car­ni­val themed around the fa­mous croc­o­dile in Peter Pan. A car­ni­val and pa­rade in the town cen­tre will lead up to the switch-on of the Christ­mas lights.

Stars of stage All the groups who fea­tured in the J M Bar­rie legacy plays at the Staged! event in Dum­fries Academy on Satur­day night

Roles Abi Hynds and Scott Creighton

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