Theatre group take on ‘challenging’ wartime play

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Borders Youth Theatre 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.

This is an exciting opportunity for BYT to be linked again with such a prestigious, nationwide project.

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 short tour of some of the Borders high schools, and then finally to the Eden Court Theatre, Inverness, in April as part of NT Connections Youth Theatre Festival.

The Edelweiss Pirates is set in Germany and is based around true events. The Second World War rages into its fourth year, and though the majority of young Germans have been brainwashed into joining the Hitler Youth organisation, small groups of teenagers across the country found the courage to say: “No, enough is enough”.

One such group are The Edelweiss Pirates of Cologne. The 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 (£7, conc. £5), MacArts Centre, Bridge Street, Galashiels TD1 1SP.

For further information on The Edelweiss Pirates or Borders Youth Theatre, email bytprojects@gmail.com. Or look at the website, www.bordersyouththeatre.co.uk.

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