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Wonder Fools are delighted to announce their brand new season of ambitious socially engaged theatre

This season is their biggest and most ambitious to date and includes an incredible mix of productions in venues across Scotland.

Wonder Fools are delighted to announce their brand new season of ambitious socially engaged theatre

Article Source: Wonder Fools
Last Updated: 15 May 2024 10:10

Wonder Fools continues to have a proven track record of delivering high quality arts projects and theatre productions with young people and communities across Scotland and beyond, and this season is no different. It starts with The Bunker, a musical, in South Ayrshire in June; Òran, a hip hop retelling of a Greek classic, at the Edinburgh Fringe in August; The Events, a new production of David Greig’s modern classic, in Cumbernauld in October; and to round it all off, their incredibly successful international project Positive Stories for Negative Times, a year long participatory project for young writers and theatre makers working alongside a fantastic line up of international artists, running from September 2024-September 2025. This ambitious and far reaching programme is delivered by a young company who currently receive no regular funding.

The Bunker - 26 June 2024 @ The Gaiety, Ayr
The Bunker, directed by Jack Nurse, is a compelling new comedy musical reflecting on our diverse experiences of lockdown. Created in collaboration with the local community, this original production follows four strangers who gather in a bunker to spend lockdown together. Their disagreements and different worldviews provide plenty of laughs whilst their individual stories, inspired by conversations with local people in South Ayrshire, explore themes around isolation, grief, and a yearning for connection. Songs from artists such as The Clash, Rod Stewart and Dua Lipa will be performed live by a professional cast joined onstage by 50 community performers. This new co-production with The Gaiety has been commissioned by Greenspace as part of the Covid memorial project ‘Remembering Together’.

Òran - @ Pleasance, Edinburgh - 31 Jul-25 Aug 3.15pm
This urgent modern retelling of Orpheus and Eurydice combines spoken word, lyrical storytelling and a pulsating electronic live score. The thrilling story of Òran and his journey to rescue his best friend from the Underworld. Should he arrive there, Hades might grant him the chance to lead his friend home…but at what cost? This visceral piece of contemporary theatre is a collaboration with the acclaimed hip-hop artist Owen Sutcliffe in partnership with Pitlochry Festival Theatre & Pleasance Theatre as part of the Edinburgh National Partnership 2024 with music by VanIves, creating an entertaining modern retelling of the Greek classic. This will be Wonder Fools first ever production at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The Events - @ Lanternhouse, Cumbernauld – 28 Sep-5 Oct 2024
This thrilling and visceral new staging of David Greig’s modern classic is an exciting collaboration between the professional cast and a community choir specially created for the production. Directed by Jack Nurse, it tells the powerful story about community, empathy and resilience – about Claire, a priest who survives a mass shooting and sets out on a quest to answer the most difficult question of all: why? The Events, produced by Cumbernauld Theatre and in association with Wonder Fools, is a journey that takes her to the edge of reason, science, politics and faith.

Positive Stories for Negative Times: Season 4 – across Scotland - Sep 2024 – Sep 2025
Wonder Fools are delighted and incredibly proud that this will be the fourth iteration of their flagship and ground-breaking participatory project Positive Stories for Negative Times. It commissions some of the UK’s most exciting theatre artists to create new work with young people in Scotland and around the world.

This year it will feature work by an incredible line up of talent including Ella Hickson, Mammalian Diving Reflex, Adura Onashile, Travis Alabanza and James Ley. Over the year it will engage over 3000 young people and 200 youth leaders nationally and internationally and culminate in 4 major youth arts festivals in summer 2025 at partner venues in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stornoway and Dumfries.

This project, co-commissioned by the Traverse, will also include a national call out for a new young writer giving them the opportunity to have their first professional commission. The new writer will be announced on Wonder Fools social media on 20 May 2024.

PSFNT is created and produced by Wonder Fools in association with the Traverse Theatre, Citizens Theatre, An Lanntair and Dumfries Theatre Royal in association with Youth Theatre Arts Scotland.

Wonder Fools say of PSFNT: “The project started with conversations during lockdown with young people discussing what they wanted the future of youth theatre to look like. Little did we know that those chats would be the catalyst for creating one of the biggest and far-reaching projects of its kind, with 8747 young people from 17 different countries participating. We are genuinely in awe. Anyone can get involved and stage a performance in their local community, and for 20 of the lucky companies, they'll get to perform at one of our festivals.”

Alongside this new season Wonder Fools will continue their ambitious Artist Development strategy including:

• Their Youth Board initiative will see them working with 40 of the most exciting early career artists in Scotland
• 20 CPD workshops for professionals who work with young people led by some of the UK’s most exciting artists.
• Opportunities for 20 associate artists via PSFNT who will offer in-person artist development for teachers and teaching artists working with disadvantaged young people to further their practice and develop their work for PSFNT.
• Hosting open advice sessions for freelancers supporting around 60 people a year.
• 3 New Year New Work events, a paid opportunity for early career and established music and theatre artists to test new material at SWG3 Glasgow.

Co-founders Jack Nurse & Robbie Gordon say of the upcoming season: “We are incredibly excited to announce our first ever season of work including a rich blend of stories and forms all rooted in our socially engaged theatre-making model. We can't wait to collaborate with all the different groups involved over the next year to create these shows - from the 50 community performers onstage at the Gaiety to the choir we're building from scratch for David Greig's ‘The Events’ in Cumbernauld. Live music is threaded throughout the year with well-known songs in The Bunker, hip hop beats for our first Fringe show Òran and the choir's songs at the Lanternhouse. This is a programme combining popular entertainment, ambitious theatricality and the most pressing topics of today all made with audiences, artists and people at its heart.”

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