Stage is set for East End festival as performers join in a celebration of the arts
YOUNG people acting up – in a good way – take centre stage at Platform’s Outskirts Festival this weekend.
The venue’s drama students will be performing their hit show, Shaking the Habitual, following its successful sellout run at the Traverse in Edinburgh.
Children, teenagers and young adults from Easterhouse and beyond have been taking part in drama groups at the east end venue for more than a decade.
As well as producing talented actors, the programme helps empower young people, boosting confidence and developing social skills, as Matt Addicott, programme lead for performance at Platform explains.
“We offer weekly drama classes and performance workshops for a wide range of ages here at Platform,” he says. “They are designed to be a fun way to meet new people, develop skills for life and build confidence, and they are led by highly experienced and talented artists.
“As well as leading regular sessions here in Easterhouse, these artists spend their time travelling the world, making and sharing their films and performances. This collaboration between currently practising professionals at the top of their game and members of our local community keeps the work they make together fresh and vibrant.”
He adds: “Shaking the Habitual, devised by the Platform Young Company, Gudrun Soley Sigurdardottir and Eoin McKenzie is a great example of the top quality work we aim to create.
“It was a source of great pride to see the show perform in front of full houses in the main space at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh as part of the Chrysalis Festival, and we are delighted to be able to celebrate the production here at Platform as part of our annual multi arts festival Outskirts 2019.”
Drama and performance classes have been running at Platform in Easterhouse since the building opened in 2006 and the team has worked with hundreds of young people from the local community and across the city. Many have gone onto further training and employment in the industry and former participants can currently be seen on stages across Scotland and further afield.
Former Platform Young Company member Reuben Joseph is currently appearing in New York in Anything That Gives Off Light, a National Theatre of Scotland, TEAM and Edinburgh International Festival co-production.
Matt adds: “It is not all about preparing for a career in the arts though – our classes and workshops are open to all, regardless of experience and can really
‘‘ It was a source of great pride to see the show perform
help children, young people and adults to make friends and enjoy life.”
Eoin McKenzie, 22, has been going to Platform’s drama groups for eight years.
He has been lead artist for Platform’s Lab Station (he runs the group each week) for the past 20 months and the new show the group has been making – Old Shows by Young People – has just been selected for the National Festival of Youth Theatre by Youth Theatre Arts Scotland.
He has also made a show called In the Corner of My Mind There is A Small Boy Dancing – which he will perform at the Outskirts festival.
“I first got involved because I was shy as a kid,” he says. “I went along, nervously, and I just liked it so much I stuck around.
“Eventually l I went off to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
“Platform is such an open and encouraging space,” he