Axing our youth theatre is wrong

Douglas Henshall in Shetland.
Douglas Henshall in Shetland.
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Fans of Shetland TV detective Jimmy Perez owe it a debt.

Think Dr Who wouldn’t have been the same without his Scottish assistant Amy Pond? Then you too should appreciate the value of the Scottish Youth Theatre. The actors Dougie Henshall and Karen Gillan are just two of the outstanding talents to use the group as a springboard to success. Thousands of others from across the country have passed through its doors over the last 40 years without going on to find fame, but who nevertheless treasured the experience.

There is a great deal of sadness, anger and bewilderment at the prospect of its closing after Creative Scotland, the national arts funding body, decided to cut its funding. No one seems to understand why - when arts funding has been so well protected, relatively speaking, from Scottish Government cuts - such a shining light should be so little valued. The fact 30,000 people have signed a petition calling for it to be saved shows the affection and esteem in which it is held.

Axing our national youth theatre in the official Year of Young People? It’s no wonder the First Minister felt obliged to offer her support. Hopefully it isn’t too late for sense to prevail.