Historical opportunity for theatre group

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Borders Youth Theatre (BYT) is performing The Edelweiss Pirates, by Ayub Khan Din, as part of the annual National Theatre Connections – a nationwide celebration of new plays for young people.

Each year new plays are commissioned from some of the best contemporary playwrights in the country, for performance by schools and youth theatres all over the UK and Ireland, making Connections one of the world’s largest celebrations of youth theatre.

BYT is performing the show at the MacArts Centre, Galashiels, on February 19, 20 and 21.

The play will then go on a tour of some Borders high schools, and then finally to the Eden Court Theatre in Inverness in April as part of NT Connections Youth Theatre Festival.

The Edelweiss Pirates is set in Germany in 1938 and based around true events. Although the majority of young Germans have been brainwashed into joining the Hitler Youth organisation, small groups of teenagers found the courage to refuse.

One such group are The Edelweiss Pirates of Cologne, whose five members choose to stand up to the regime, even though they may have to pay a terrible price for their convictions.

The production is directed and conceived by Kai Peacock and Oli Bisset, and involves more than 25 young people from across the Borders. When asked about the production, Kai said:

“This really is an amazing play, and a great opportunity for the young people in the Borders to perform such a challenging piece looking at one of the most key moments in history.

“It has been an interesting journey for the members of the BYT company to take as we have had to research, learn and understand about the history of the Second World War, and what it was like to be a young person living in Germany in such difficult times.

“I feel that this play is an inspiration to us all because it shows the power and effect that young people can have, past and present, by standing up for what they believe in, which is very relevant today and especially poignant with the current news headlines around the world.”

Performances start at 7.30pm. Tickets are available on the door, priced £7 (conc. £5), at the MacArts Centre in Bridge Street.

For further information on The Edelweiss Pirates or on Borders Youth Theatre, email bytprojects@gmail.com,, or see www.bordersyouththeatre.co.uk.