Calling crafty kids and budding actors

Priorsford Primary School pupils have fun at the drama club.
Priorsford Primary School pupils have fun at the drama club.

Whether your kids are into make-believe or make-from-scratch, Red Button will fill their needs in Peebles from Saturday, January 16, with two great new clubs.

Red Button Drama Arts has been described as energetic, creative and empowering with the clubs offering a choice of drama or crafts.

Arty pupils make merry with crafts.

Arty pupils make merry with crafts.

For budding actors, the drama club will be full of games, costumes, masks, puppetry, and performance, while the Arty Crafty Club recycles all sorts of materials, turning milk bottles into desk tidies, old socks into puppets and pint glasses to lanterns – perfect for those who love to create.

Red Button Drama Arts was created three years ago by Mandy Durkin, and due to demand, has grown to cover nine drama and arts clubs for primary school pupils in Peebles & Innerleithen, as well as Peebles High School’s additional needs department. This now includes larger community arts projects as part of its weekday programme, which is now being extended into the weekend.

Mandy has been involved in arts education for two decades, including running the Eastgate Theatre Outreach Programme for 10 years, creating projects for every part of the community, from tots to senior citizens.

Trish Simmons from Peebles High School said: “I am delighted that we are able to offer our pupils drama classes with Red Button.

“Mandy offers a wealth of knowledge and experience in drama practice that has had a very positive effect on our pupils, who really enjoy taking part.”

Mandy said: “I wanted to start drama clubs which taught children to be confident, creative and make their own decisions.

“They get a big say in what we do and that makes them very proud of what we achieve.

“This has a very positive effect on their school life, as their confidence grows.

“Now we have started the Arty Crafty clubs, which are proving every bit as popular.”

“We would now love to hear from anyone who would like us to start a Red Button club in their area of the Borders.

Parent Kirsty Godsall said: “My children have been going to Red Button Drama for two years at Priorsford and not only do they both love it, but it has helped them to become more assertive and confident in everything else they do.

Mandy added: “I’m very grateful to the head teachers at Priorsford, St Ronan’s and Peebles High School, who have been incredibly supportive of Red Button from the start, and also to the many fantastic parents who have ended up being a snowman or a piano in the name of drama.”

The new Saturday clubs take place in room one at the Drill Hall, Peebles, with the Drama Club taking place from 9-10am and the Arty Crafty Club from 10.15-11.15am.

If you would like to come, or for more information, contact Mandy Durkin on 07752 515132, email, find them on facebook/redbuttondrama or visit