Young performers mark the centenary of the end of the First World War in a major new performance

Young performers mark the centenary of the end of the First World War in a major new performance

All four Scottish national youth performing arts companies prepare to take over the Old Fruitmarket next week for a landmark collaboration!

As the city prepares to welcome athletes from across Europe, young participants from National Youth Choir of Scotland, National Youth Orchestras of Scotland, Scottish Youth Theatre and Y Dance (Scottish Youth Dance) have been limbering up for a new performance which has been commissioned by Festival 2018 - the cultural programme for the Glasgow 2018 European Championships.

In Tell Us Who We Are, the young cast use the prism of the war to contrast their lives to those of all the young people who have lived in the 100 years following the end of WWI.

This will be the first time all four companies have collaborated and performed together and participants have been delighted to work side by side with performers from different disciplines, as dancer Hannah Boutiche testifies,
“In addition to improving as a dancer, this collaboration has allowed me to create and explore skills in other art forms such as acting and singing. All the company have become a family and I thoroughly enjoy working alongside such talented and kind people.”

The piece is by Gary McNair, who wrote the script with input from a variety of people, as he explains: “I’ve interviewed people who have lived through or served in wars, including the Second World War and those who have experienced more recent conflicts.

While I conducted the interviews, the young cast have shaped the piece massively. We spent a couple of periods of development at the start of the whole process getting their input so I felt like I was really representing the performers when I was asking my questions to the interviewees. When we all came back together to develop and shape the material, the young people agreed that the work represented their voices”


The piece is directed by Mary McCluskey, choreographed by Anna Kenrick (YDance) and features original music from Claire McCue. This will be Mary’s last project as Artistic Director of SYT, and she promises an epic performance to match the occasion: “We will be using every inch of the Old Fruitmarket venue, filling it with sound, movement and the creative energies of these talented young performers. Working with them has been a great experience for me and a great way to end my time at SYT.”

On the commission, Championships Director, Colin Hartley, adds: “It will be fantastic to see all four youth performing arts companies coming together to perform Tell Us Who We Are as part of Festival 2018.

The cultural arm of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships is a brilliant opportunity to showcase the amazing talent we have in Glasgow and Scotland.

The Glasgow 2018 European Championships is getting closer – it will be the moment our people will proudly welcome Europe. With 52 nations taking part in 12 sports, Glasgow 2018 will be a must watch, must attend summer of sport and culture with athletes, our fantastic home crowd and our many visitors creating magical moments which will showcase what we have to offer across Europe. It’s not to be missed!”


Tell Us Who We Are opens on Tue 7 August and runs for 4 performances until Thu 9 August (times vary). Tickets can be purchased here www.festival2018glasgow.com

Last Updated: 3 August 2018 9:18

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