Media Release: Exchange 2010 – one of Scotland’s largest annual celebrations of youth theatre returns

National Theatre of Scotland Learn in partnership with The Byre Theatre, St Andrews presents:

Exchange 2010

One youth theatre festival, one packed week, eight shows

NOW in its fifth year, the National Theatre of Scotland’s vibrant Exchange festival is one of Scotland’s largest annual celebrations of youth theatre.

A truly international event, Exchange brings together youth theatres not only from Scotland, but across the world.

Taking place at the Byre Theatre in St Andrews from 6 to 10 July 2010, this year’s Exchange festival features eight exciting shows including performances of new work by six Scottish youth theatre groups and one international company.

The National Theatre of Scotland’s acclaimed production of Mr Write, by Rob Drummond, will also be performed at the festival, following the success of a recent tour of Scottish venues in spring 2010.

The youth theatres taking part in this year’s festival are:

  • Eden Court Theatre Young Company, Inverness
  • Academy Acts, Dumfries
  • Eastwood Park Theatre 16 – 25, East Renfrewshire
  • Creative Electric, Edinburgh
  • Cork Midsummer Festival Young Performers’ Ensemble, Ireland
  • Tron Young Company, Glasgow
  • Byre Youth Theatre, St Andrews

Exchange provides the opportunity for enthusiastic young theatre-makers (aged 16 to 25 years old) to create and perform new and exciting pieces of theatre with the help and support of a professional creative team.

Creative partners for Exchange 2010 include Michael John McCarthy, Rachel Aileen Smith, Lynda Radley, Gareth Nicholls, Dave Martin and Kate Pringle.

Throughout the Exchange process, participating groups are encouraged and supported in exploring new ideas and developing their skills through an exciting programme of masterclasses and workshops with leading national and international theatre professionals, including Vicky Featherstone (artistic director, National Theatre of Scotland, Simon Sharkey (National Theatre of Scotland), Simon Pittman (Frantic Assembly), Johnny McKnight (Random Accomplice) and Pol Heyvaert (CAMPO Gent).

Exchange culminates in a high profile week-long festival of the young artists’ work.

During the week, alongside nightly performances, the young people are able to participate in a number of workshops including creative writing, movement, music, dance, aerial work, Samba, comedy and audio-visual work.

Following the launch of Exchange TV at Macrobert Arts Centre in Stirling last year, a team of young filmmakers will film activity at this year’s festival and broadcast highlights from the week online.

Each youth theatre group also performs their show in front of a home audience in their local area before showcasing their work at the Exchange festival in St Andrews.

With support from The Robertson Trust and The Endrick Trust.

Exchange 2010 Festival Programme:

Tuesday 6 July

SHOW: Can’t see the wood for the trees

by Eden Court Theatre Young Company, Inverness

If you were a bird, in which tree would you make your nest?  If you could plant a tree, who would it be in memory of, and why? Collections of stories, movements and memories around trees feature in this exciting and innovative performance.

Eden Court Theatre Young Company is a group of theatre-makers from across the Highlands, consisting predominantly of Intermediate 2 and Higher Drama students. Exchange will be the first time the full group has performed together as a company although members have been working together in smaller groups for over a year. The group has many influences and they try to see as many theatre productions as possible.

SHOW: Breaking Silence by Academy Acts, Dumfries

Following individual experiences and events in their past, Tom, Eva and Katie have each developed a complex relationship with silence. During a shared journey, they rediscover their true voices with the help of music, humour and those they encounter along the way. As a result, a new understanding of silence evolves.

Academy Acts is a theatre group based at Dumfries Academy. The company has staged extensive theatre and musical productions at Dumfries Academy over many years, from Guys and Dolls and Sleeping Beauty to Brecht’s Good Woman of Setzuan and Rona Munro’s Bold Girls. The present group consists of fifth-year pupils who took part in the National Theatre of Scotland’s 2009 production of Transform Dumfries: Do a dance no-one can see you do and put it in a little bag. The group enjoys theatre and music and this is their first time at Exchange.

Wednesday 7 July

SHOW: Real men dream in black and white

by Eastwood Park Theatre 16 – 25, East Renfrewshire

An all-male cast explores the big issues, and some of the little ones, facing this generation of young men. They’ve shared their stories, their memories, their hopes and their fears with each other. Now they’d like to share them with an audience.

Eastwood Park Theatre 16-25 was established in August 2009. It is a performance group for young people from East Renfrewshire aged 16 and over who want to create original, experimental theatre, as well as new stagings of existing texts. This is their first visit to Exchange and they’re thrilled to be involved. The group made its debut in November 2009 with a performance of Eugene Ionesco’s classic, Rhinoceros, directed by Charlotte Allan.  

SHOW: Petrol Bomb Candy by Creative Electric, Edinburgh

Candy welcomes you into the Petrol Bomb Club. Leave your insecurities at the door!

Creative Electric are excited to be making their National Theatre of Scotland debut. A relatively new Edinburgh company, Creative Electric support young artists to make work that is challenging and thought provoking. As a company they are particularly passionate about verbatim theatre and are influenced by the media, overheard conversations, people in the street, each other and their audience.

Creative Electric have performed at The GRV club (Edinburgh), live on the trains at Glasgow Subway Festival, CIS at the Bongo Club (Edinburgh) and Diverse Attractions (Edinburgh Festival Fringe).Their music has been played live on Leith FM, at The GRV club, during The Electric Battle at Studio 24 (Edinburgh) and the Electric is OPEN! tour.

Their art has been exhibited at Stills gallery (Edinburgh) and at Beyond Words – a specialist photographic bookshop (Edinburgh).

Thursday 8 July

SHOW: Mr Write

Created and performed by Rob Drummond (followed by a post-show discussion)

Rob Drummond will write a play for a young person chosen from the audience, to be performed live on stage every night, using the young person’s life as his inspiration.

Rob said: “I want the audience to feel like I do when I’m writing. Excited. Alive. Frustrated. Scared. Anything can happen.”

Rob Drummond is a young theatre-maker from Glasgow, who was winner of the Arches Award for Stage Directors in 2008, with 16, and wrote, directed and performed Bullet Catch as part of The Arches Behaviour Festival in 2009. Rob was also involved as a writer on the first National Theatre of Scotland Allotment project in October 2009. Mr Write was originally performed as part of the National Theatre of Scotland’s tfd season in March 2010, before touring to Scottish venues in spring 2010.

Friday 9 July

SHOW: FML by Cork Midsummer Festival Young Performers’ Ensemble, Ireland

Commissioned by Cork Midsummer Festival, CAMPO Gent, LIFT, Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s and Everyman Palace Theatre Cork.

What’s it really like being a teenager today? And how on earth do you become a happy one? What drives teenagers to profound sadness or extreme violence? Teen suicide rates have been increasing all over Europe. What’s causing these waves?

Directed by one of Europe’s finest directors, Pol Heyvaert of CAMPO Gent, FML casts a spotlight on the lives of 15 young Corkonians. Who is the funniest, most beautiful, most dangerous? Who will fall by the wayside? Who won’t live to see twenty? Who needs help?

Cork Midsummer Festival Young Performers Ensemble, Ireland

In 2009, 20 young people took part in a series of workshops with Belgian theatre director Pol Heyvaert. This resulted in Out of Order, a hugely successful workshop performance at the Granary Theatre in Cork. The group have now been working together for a year during three main rehearsal periods in preparation for new production FML. During that time they have written text, made films and composed original music in preparation for this multi-media based production.

Saturday 10 July

SHOW: Remind me who I am again? by Tron Young Company, Glasgow

Memory is what makes us. Memory anchors us. So if we forgot it all, would we just float away?

Making its debut at Exchange 2010, the Tron Young Company from Glasgow is a dynamic group of young performers based at the Tron Theatre. Formed in January of this year, they possess a youthful energy and enjoy a fresh approach to theatre making. Exploring, devising and collaborating with director Lisa Gregan and working with choreographer Rachel Smith, this diverse company embraces a broad range of theatrical skills and creative techniques. The company is discovering and creating new theatre and invites you to make those discoveries with them.

SHOW: Over the Top by Byre Youth Theatre, St Andrews

Byre Youth Theatre conducts a unique exploration of the threshold of acceptability. A visually interesting show tackling some difficult issues.

Byre Youth Theatre runs classes throughout term time for those aged three to 18 years-old. This is the third year running that BYT has participated in Exchange and the group couldn’t be more delighted to be hosting the festival this time round. As well as Exchange, recent projects include Lysistrata, Wyrd Sisters, devising and performing their own pantomime at Christmas and two short plays, DNA and Burn.


Venue:             Byre Theatre, St Andrews

Dates:               Tuesday 6 – Saturday 10 July

Times:              7.30pm and 9pm

Tickets:            £6/£4

Box Office:       Tel: 01334 475000 or online:

Please note:     Please contact the box office directly for information on age recommendations for the Exchange performances. 


Tuesday 6th July:         

7.30pm: Can’t see the wood for the trees by Eden Court Theatre Young Company, Inverness

9pm: Breaking Silence by Academy Acts, Dumfries

Wednesday 7th July

7.30pm: Real men dream in black and white

by Eastwood Park Theatre 16 – 25, East Renfrewshire

9pm: Petrol Bomb Candy by Creative Electric, Edinburgh

Thursday 8th July:  

7.30pm: Mr Write by Rob Drummond. Followed by a post-show discussion

Friday 9th July:  

7.30pm: FML by Cork Midsummer Festival Young Performers Ensemble, Ireland

Saturday 10th July:  

7.30pm: Remind me who I am again? by Tron Young Company, Glasgow

9pm: Over the Top by Byre Youth Theatre, St Andrews


Company:         Eden Court Theatre Young Company

Show:               Can’t see the wood for the trees

Venue:              Eden Court, Inverness

Date and Time: Thursday 10th June at 7pm

Price:                £4/£2

Box Office:       01463 234 234/

Company:         Tron Young Company

Show:               Remind me who I am again?

Venue:              Tron Theatre, Glasgow

Date and Time: Thursday 24th – Friday 25th June at 7.30pm

Price:                £6

Box Office:       0141 552 4267/

Company:         Eastwood Park Theatre 16 – 25, East Renfrewshire

Show:               Real men dream in black and white

Venue:              Eastwood Park Theatre, Giffnock, East Renfrewshire

Date and Time: Sunday 27th June at 7.30pm

Price:                £3

Box Office:       0141 577 4970

Company:         Byre Youth Theatre

Show:               Over the Top

Venue:              Byre Theatre, St Andrews

Date and Time: Saturday 3rd July at 7.30pm

Price:                £8/£6

Box Office:       01334 475000/

Home performance details for Academy Acts in Dumfries and Creative Electric in Edinburgh to be announced.

Notes to Editors

National Theatre of Scotland Learn opens up great theatre experiences to as many people as possible across Scotland. Since the launch of the National Theatre of Scotland in February 2006, National Theatre of Scotland Learn has created many educational and outreach theatre projects, involving over 104,000 participants and audience members, over 4,900 workshops and over 90 schools in 26 Scottish local authority areas.


For further information please contact:

Toni O’Neill, Press & Marketing Officer, on 0141 2279231.


The National Theatre of Scotland is supported by the Scottish Government.

MEDIA RELEASE posted by the National Theatre of Scotland. You too can post media releases (aka press releases) on For more information, email here.

Contact: Toni O'Neil
Phone: 01412279231