Stage is set for East End fes­ti­val as per­form­ers join in a cel­e­bra­tion of the arts

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY ANN FOTHER­ING­HAM

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

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