Aspiring Edinburgh high school writers prove a class act
Dinosaurs in love, a boring Sunday, bullying and self image are just some of the themes explored by the next generation of aspiring Edinburgh writers in a special 30th Anniversary showcase edition of Class Act, the Traverse's creative learning programme.
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After being shown digitally last year due to Covid-19, the works from some of Edinburgh' s most exciting young creatives will be brought to life onstage by professional performers at Fringe venue MultiStory, located in the Castle Terrace car park, later this month.
Class Act has been running since 1990 in which time 92 schools and 1,776 young writers have produced 950 scripts. On August 22 four of last year's works, written and created by pupils from Broughton High, Boroughmuir High, Royal High and Craigroyston Community High will be staged for one night only.
"Class Act provides creative support and a safe space for participants to write about whatever may be affecting them, or they feel passionate about, and encourages free expression and uninhibited creation. The result is a range of short scripts bursting with energy, featuring many unusual and amusing situations and vivid characters - some of whom you may recognise," explains Robbie Gordon of the Traverse.
In the first of the four pieces to get it stage premiere, Boroughmuir High School presents Dinosaurs In Love, written by pupils Mathilda and Coco and performed by Amy Helena, Craig McCulloch and Petre Dobre. Dinosaurs In Love is the story of an acclaimed dinosaur performer who has a gig at a child’s birthday party and thinks he might be at the end of his career.
Broughton High pupils bring A Boring Sunday, written by Niamh and performed by Neshla Caplan and Lesley Hart, to the stage. It’s the end of the world when Lorraine when she realises a meteor shower has destroyed Fife and killed her husband. She is all alone until a knock from her annoying neighbour, Susan.
The pupils at the Royal High, meanwhile, offer Stephen and the Bully, by Megan G, Megan D, Leanne, Ben and Gibrill and performed by Aidan Kerr and Jathinder Singh, which tells what happened when a man wakes up in the middle of the night to find his childhood bully standing in his kitchen, while Craigroyston High pupils wrote a song about social media and image called, No One Wants to Look Like Me. Written by John, James, Jane, Sarah and Gemma, it will be performed by Scottish pop star Be Charlotte.
Other productions produced by pupils of the four schools will also be screened as part of the show.
Gordon elaborates, "There will also be satirical animations, thrillers and comedic shorts made from this year's class act. Covering a multitude of subjects, from mental health to current politics, killers on the run to reality TV, and everything in between."
For the first time, participants in Class Act also took part in workshops led by Scottish based creatives including Be Charlotte, Dave Hook of alternative hip-hop group Stanley Odd and actress Apphia Campbell.
Gordon adds, "For the first time ever, in it's 30 year history, we are bringing this work to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, so you can get the chance to see the work performed by an ensemble of brilliant actors from across the spectrum of stage and screen."