SCOTTISH secondary school boys are exploring the obstacles on the journey from boyhood to manhood through a nine-month theatre project based on French free-running and hip-hop storytelling.
Since February 2012 workshops have been running in schools in Glasgow’s East End and Fife, where boys have been learning creative writing, storytelling through music and the urban movement discipline of parkour – a form of free-running originating from the council estates of northern France.
A co-production with ON at Fife, in partnership with Strathclyde Police, Jump will culminate in a series of public performances in November 2012 – at Rothes Halls in Glenrothes, Fife, and Platform in Easterhouse, Glasgow.
The show will combine parkour with autobiographical storytelling – drawn from creative writing workshops led by Glasgow-based rapper and musician MC Loki – and a soundtrack curated with assistance from Radio 1 DJ, Ally McCrae, and David Weaver’s award-winning independent music promotion company, Detour Scotland.
Jump promises to be physical, loud and “more like a gig than a show”, according to director, Simon Sharkey.
The National Theatre of Scotland has assembled an experienced professional creative team for the project, including Simon Sharkey (director), Phil McCormack (asst. director), Chris Grant (parkour director), Daniel Cahill (parkour choreographer), Stuart Wilson (parkour coach), Darren McGarvey aka MC Loki (creative artist – narrations), Detour Scotland (creative artists – soundscape) and Lisa Sangster (designer).
Jump is the latest in a long line of ambitious, large-scale community-led projects run by the National Theatre of Scotland.
Often working with multiple partners, including local authorities, community groups and arts organisations, and covering a wide geographical area, Jump follows in the footsteps of highly-acclaimed projects such as Mixter Maxter (Transform Orkney), Reasons to Dance (Falkirk) and the award-winning Extreme (Aberdeen).
A new nine-month project set on Shetland commences in October 2012.
National Theatre of Scotland associate director, Sharkey, said: “Parkour is a great way of engaging with young men. In all the schools we visit, we’re told how difficult it is to find role models for boys, and how difficult it can be to have them engage and express themselves.
“Parkour gives them a platform for self-expression but allows them to physicalise it, so there’s less stigma attached.
“Parkour also works as a metaphor for life and has a philosophy based on self-improvement, training your mind and body to be strong, and supporting the people around you.”
Lauren Barr, drama teacher at Auchmuty HS, Glenrothes, said: “They just went for it from day one. It has engaged boys who are not interested in drama and see it as ‘uncool.’
“There have been comments like ‘I never knew this was drama’.
“It’s giving them a better perspective of what drama can be and is widening their horizons. I also know Jump has improved their behaviour in a lot of areas at school.”
Chris Grant, founder of Glasgow Parkour and parkour director for Jump, said: “It’s important to understand that parkour isn’t just guys on YouTube doing backflips to drum ‘n’ bass.
“It’s a way of thinking more than a way of moving. Essentially, it’s about overcoming obstacles.
“Like martial arts, it involves solving problems, assessing risks and training the mind and body to be graceful and purposeful. The boys will be training together, supporting each other and moving forward as a team.”
Tickets for Jump performances are on sale now:
Thurs 22nd Nov: 7.00pm, Fri 23rd Nov: 7.00pm
Platform (Box Office – 0141 276 9696)
1000 Westerhouse Road, Glasgow,G34 9JW
Weds 28th Nov: 7.00pm, Thurs 29th Nov: 1.30pm, 7.00pm
Rothes Halls (Box Office – 01592 611101 and www.onfife.com)
Rothes Square, Glenrothes, KY7 5N
Tickets: £3 deposit required per ticket – redeemable after the performance
Platform, Glasgow: Fri 23rd Nov: 7.00pm
Rothes Halls: Thurs 29th Nov: 7.00pm
For press tickets please contact: Adam McDougall – Marketing & Press Officer firstname.lastname@example.org/0141 227 9231
Partner schools in Glasgow:
St Mungo’s Academy
Partner schools in Fife:
KirklandHigh Schooland Community College
Frank Chinn, CEO, ON at Fife, said:
“We are delighted our co-production with the National Theatre of Scotland is bringing an innovative, accessible and engaging piece of theatre to Fife.
“Our local partnership with Fife Council’s Education Service, the Cultural Partnership Team and Fife Community Safety Partnership ensures Fife will maximise the creative legacy of the project and I look forward to seeing the end results when the site-specific ‘event theatre’ pieces are performed.”
Chief Superintendent Grant Manders, head of Public Protection and Safer Communities, Strathclyde Police, said:
“We are delighted to be a part of this innovative initiative. Offending by young people in Glasgow has almost halved in the past five years and we are determined to keep this trend going.
“The best way of achieving this is by encouraging young people to think about the choices they make and offering them positive alternatives. The Jump programme does just that, and I am confident that it will make a real difference where it will be working in the East End of Glasgow.”
1. The National Theatre of Scotland is supported by the Scottish Government. Since its launch in February 2006, the National Theatre of Scotland has been involved in creating 181 productions in 156 different locations. With no building of its own, the company takes theatre all overScotland and beyond, working with existing and new venues and companies to create and tour theatre of the highest quality. It takes place in the great buildings ofScotland, but also in site-specific locations, airports and tower blocks, community halls and drill halls, ferries and forests. The company has performed to over 770,000 people, across three continents.
2. For box office information and updates visit www.nationaltheatrescotland.com / follow us on twitter.com/NTSonline; facebook.com/NationalTheatreofScotland and http://vimeo.com/nationaltheatrescotland
Jump updates on Twitter: #NTSjump
3. ON at Fife
ON at Fife is considered to be Fife’s largest independent arts organisation, operating four major venues and working with partners to create new work. ON at Fife is funded by Fife Council to deliver Arts and Theatre services across Fife. Our mission is to promote and increase participation in the arts in Fife. On at Fife’s work can be summed up in the following ways:
4. Strathclyde Police Safer Communities Department
Chief Superintendent Grant Manders heads up the Strathclyde Police Public Protection and Safer Communities Department. His officers are responsible for developing policies and interventions to deal with substance misuse (drugs and alcohol), offending by young people, and vulnerable people.
FOR FURTHER PRESS INFO/IMAGES/INTERVIEWS/FOOTAGE, CONTACT:
Adam McDougall, Marketing and Press Officer, National Theatre of Scotland
Tel: +44 (0) 141 227 9231 E: email@example.com
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