SHOW LAUNCHES 10-DAY FESTIVAL
Staged! event starts Dreams festival
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