Mull and Iona youngsters go to the ballet

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Youngsters on Mull and Iona  are being treated to a special ballet performance thanks to the Theatre in Schools Scotland’s touring programme.

On Thursday November 22, the performance was in Tobermory High School, with two performances for Tobermory Primary and Pre-fives, Lochdonhead Primary, Ulva Primary, Dervaig Primary and Salen Pre-fives and Primary , including the Gaelic Medium unit.

On Friday November 23 the show was at Bunessan Hall with performances for Bunessan Pre-fives and Primary and Iona Primary.

Poggle tells the story of Vince who wants to explore the forest but he’s too scared to go on his own, until one day he meets Poggle.

This acclaimed colourful performance for younger children has live music, clapping rhythms and bubble popping throughout!

Barrowland Ballet is one of Scotland’s most exciting and successful contemporary dance companies, based in the East End of Glasgow. Poggle has toured to festivals throughout the world with performances in Edinburgh, Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, China, Canada and America.

Theatre in Schools Scotland also visited the area in September with performances of Is This A Dagger: The Story of Macbeth by Andy Cannon and Red Bridge Arts for all P4-S1 classes in Mull and Iona.

Presented by National Theatre of Scotland and Imaginate in partnership with Catherine Wheels Theatre Company, Starcatchers and Visible Fictions, the touring programme creates ongoing opportunities for Scotland’s schools to host performances in their school halls and local communities. The current shows are sponsored by The Scottish Salmon Company and Culture and Business Fund Scotland, supported by Comar (Mull Theatre) and The Touring Network (Highlands & Islands).

Alasdair McCrone, Director of Comar, said: ‘Comar / Mull Theatre is delighted to again be involved with Theatre in Schools Scotland and to give financial and practical support in order to help bring two wonderful shows to our islands.

Mull and Iona present very real geographical and logistical challenges to touring theatre for schools but we share an ambition to give all school pupils access to exceptional cultural experiences so, working together, we’re delighted to be part of the means of making this happen.’

Jo McLean, chief executive officer, The Touring Network (Highlands & Islands), said: ‘Our partnership with Theatre in Schools Scotland is helping us to reach some young people who have never previously had access to this type of work, particularly in some of our more remote membership communities. We are delighted to continue working with them on this project.’

Theatre in Schools Scotland, is a three-year pilot project touring world-class theatre and dance to Scotland’s schools. Now entering its final year, the project’s ambition is to create and test a touring and producing model that could ultimately bring one piece of high quality theatre or dance to every child in a Scottish school or nursery each year.

This year expanded its programme and has been touring seven productions with performances suitable for nurseries, primary and secondary schools.

Craig Anderson, chief executive of The Scottish Salmon Company, says: ‘We are committed to supporting communities across the west coast of Scotland and Hebrides where our people live and work, and are proud to support Theatre In Schools Scotland. This fantastic project ensures theatre and the arts reach children in remote and rural areas, which all kids deserve.’

Arts & Business Scotland is supporting Theatre in Schools Scotland through the Culture & Business Fund Scotland, which provides match funding to encourage arts organisations and businesses to work together.

The fund’s head of programmes Carl Watt says: ‘We are delighted to continue to support Theatre in Schools Scotland and The Scottish Salmon Company’s third year sponsorship of the programme through the Culture & Business Fund Scotland.

‘It is fitting that in 2018, Scotland’s Year of Young People, the Theatre in Schools Scotland initiative has built on its continued success and expanded to benefit a greater number of children and young people across the country.

‘The aim of the Culture & Business Fund Scotland is to encourage greater collaboration between businesses and the cultural sector. This ongoing partnership between Theatre in Schools Scotland and The Scottish Salmon Company is testament to the strength and mutual benefits of such cultural partnerships.”

Theatre in Schools Scotland’s aim is to develop a unique sustainable partnership model, creating funding links with local authorities, schools, regional promoters and touring networks.