Author: Christine Richard OBE FRSA

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Tuesday, June 28th, 2016 at 8:14 pm
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Show Reviews

Awfy Huge Fantastic Variety!

Ten years ago, the Festival Theatre began an initiative to celebrate  the artistic abilities of the pupils at Pilrig Special School. Since then, the project has spiralled into an amazing, creative endeavour, with stunning input from no fewer than 12  state-funded special schools in Edinburgh.

It would be impossible to single out any of the groups for special praise but as many as possible deserve a mention. Braidburn School’s The Finatics, with imaginative vocals supplied by Richard E Grant, and Kaimes School’s ‘Peggy the Pirate’ with its amazing costumes. There was the singing from Kayleigh McKenzie of Prospect Bank School, (working with Andy Gray), and the dancing from St Crispin’s School – filmed expertly by Graham Kitchener.

Redhall School, produced by Cat Sheridan, gave us ‘Joey the Shy Monkey’, and then Woodlands School took the baton with State_Us_Quo, a musical quartet of Ryan Brown (lead guitar), Mike Eusepi (drums), Scott Herbert (piano) and Robert Bruce (bass guitar).. Leo from the Harmeny School sang his heart out with Hello (original track by Adele) as part of’ The Confused Clown’s Party Invitation, working with Melanie Jordan.

Panmure School produced Walk Like A Man, produced by Cat Sheridan and Jane Mcinally. Back to where it all began, working with Dance Base and Dawn Taylor, Pilrig Park School’s contribution  had the audience enthralled.

Brilliantly presented and directed by comedian/actor/panto legend and River City Star, Andy Gray ,with, on the night, Grant Stott whose experience ranges from Radio Forth to Scotsport on STV. The evening performance on 22 June in the Festival Theatre produced that most rare of Edinburgh Audience reaction – we stood up at the end, cheered and some of us yelled ‘Bravo’.

The Dream Team who put this together were the Andy/Grant comperes, producer, Cat Sheridan, lighting design, Sulie Wood, sound design, Ruari Dunn and stage management, Izabell Martine. The philosophy of child-led creativity really worked and each group was supported by a Festival Theatre Engagement Artist. The photographic images were done by Greg Macvean.

Awfey3The hours of work and dedication to produce this show are almost beyond imagination, although imagination was of the highest level. I know the Theatre wants to thank all the staff and support staff at all the schools and groups with which they have worked for their help. Richard E. Grant for his ‘fabulous vocals and a huge thank you to the Cordis Charitable Trust for their contribution towards the show.

Performed at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh.


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