A NEW version of Scottish Youth Theatre’s funny and satirical show, Now’s The Hour – which explores first-time voters’ attitudes to the Independence Referendum – has opened at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
The show is created and performed by a cast of 12 first-time voters, aged 16-20 years from right across Scotland, through letters they write to their future self in 20 years’ time expressing their hopes and fears for the country, whether there is a Yes or a No vote.
Using sketches, monologues and music, Now’s the Hour explores Scotland’s history, amusing stereotypes and many contradictions, before turning the spotlight on key referendum issues such as currency, Trident, tuition fees and the economy.
The young actors try to make sense of the claims and counterclaims of both sides of the referendum debate.
The show, which is politically neutral, represents the authentic voice of a cross section of young Scots.
It is devised during the rehearsal period, around a structure which delivers theatre that is entertaining, insightful, and thought provoking.
To date, around 50 young people from Scottish Youth Theatre have taken part in different versions of the play.
Fraser MacLeod, the show’s director, said: “The essence of the show is the letters which the cast write to themselves in 20 years time expressing their hopes and fears for Scotland’s future whether there is a Yes or a No vote.
“In this new version of the play these letters have changed completely as young people gain a better understanding of the issues. There are also four new cast members with completely new opinions which weren’t in the previous version.
“The new production addresses how the referendum debate has moved on since last year. The previous production was more focussed on encouraging the young actors to take their time and consider the arguments put to them.
“This new production captures how, having been through this process, the young people feel overwhelmed, confused or have changed their opinions entirely.
“There is more urgency to make the right decision when they vote on Sept 18th.
“The music has also been reworked and is now played acoustically by the cast.”
Mary McCluskey, Scottish Youth Theatre’s chief executive and artistic director, added: “Now’s the Hour is the only play at this year’s Fringe which represents the authentic voice of a cross-section of young Scots as they try to make sense of the claims and counter claims surrounding the referendum debate.
“Uniquely, it does this without taking a political position or telling the audience how to vote.
“Being part of the Fringe demonstrates the important role Scottish Youth Theatre has in unlocking the creative potential, confidence and development of children and young people right across Scotland.”
Now’s The Hour will run until Sunday 24th August (except 11) at 1.35pm at the Stand Comedy Club 3, 28, York Place, Edinburgh. Tickets are available from The Stand Comedy Club box office Tel: 0131 558 7272 or http://www.thestand.co.uk/fringe/show/176/scottish_youth_theatre_nows_the_hour.
Notes to editors:
- Scottish Youth Theatre, Scotland’s national theatre ‘for & by’ young people, established in 1976, delivers theatre arts to young people all around Scotland all year round.
- Scottish Youth Theatre offers a varied annual programme of quality theatre arts experiences all around Scotland, all year round. Full info on all Scottish Youth Theatre events, performances and activities are available by visiting www.scottishyouththeatre.org or by calling 0141 552 3988.
- Scottish Youth Theatre alumni include Gerard Butler (300), Karen Gillan (Dr. Who) and KT Tunstall (Eye to the Telescope, Drastic Fantastic), Iain De Caestecker (Marvel’s Agents of Shield), Douglas Henshall (Shetland, Primeval) and Kirstie Steele (Waterloo Road).
- Scottish Youth Theatre is a registered charity, Scottish Charity Number SC014283.
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