Chrysalis returns with more thought-provoking theatre curated and created by young people
- Lorna Irvine
- 10 November 2017
Theatre companies from around UK gather for weekend of youth theatre
The Traverse Theatre has always had a reputation for championing new and vital voices, and this is certainly true of the November season, when the Chrysalis Festival returns for another three-day showcase. Curated and created by Youth Theatre Arts Scotland, Chrysalis – their annual festival of youth performance – presents a selection of young people's work that can stand as examples of excellence. First formed in 2015, this unique platform has an emphasis on emerging youthful companies who present uncompromising, thought-provoking work which aims to challenge preconceptions of what young companies can do.
Inverclyde's Beacon Young Company present How To Save The World … Ish, which puts complacency and responsibility under the spotlight, examining when and why it's time to step up and grow up. Contact Young Company, who are from Manchester, are dealing with living with a cancer diagnosis in teen years in their tender and honest There is a Light: BRIGHTLIGHT.
Based in West Lothian, Firefly Arts have a reputation for making intelligent physical theatre which pushes boundaries. This is certainly the case with Dark Mechanics which scrutinises the vagaries of capitalism and plays with gender roles. Written by Kirsty Byers, Eleanor Morrison and the cast, this promises to cut to the heart of human motivation, asking what impels people to behave as they do.
Reading Rep, whose work is tough and unflinchingly immersive and very much influenced by the grit of Trainspotting, present Queer Fish. It's a dystopian piece that's not for the easily offended, focusing on three young misfits called Sweets, Skinny and Baby, who play dangerous games involving chem-sex and their own morality.
The aim of Chrysalis is to demonstrate how youth theatre need not lack the excitement and experimental panache of professional companies, and a series of accompanying events will highlight the range of YTAS support available for the talent that will shape the next generation of theatre.