Polmont Youth Theatre
As part of the National Theatre of Scotland’s Futureproof festival in 2018, a year-long drama project ran in HMYOI Polmont led by award winning theatre company Glas(s) Performance. The project resulted in Motion, an original performance created by the group, exploring themes of masculinity and its impact on young men in Scotland today.
As a legacy, support from Aberdeen Standard Investments has enabled the creation of Polmont Youth Theatre, in partnership with Barnardos and Impact Arts, and delivered by Glas(s) Performance. Engaging with young men currently serving sentences in HMYOI Polmont as part of the main stream population, Polmont Youth Theatre meets on a weekly basis, and has actor Gary Lewis (Outlander, Billy Elliot, My Name is Joe) as its patron.
In May 2019, an external audience and several in-house staff attended a work-in-progress performance of Polmont Youth Theatre’s new show Footsteps on the Moon. Performed by the young men in custody, this piece explores change in its many forms – personal, political and historical. “From the moments that have changed us to the changes we want to make. What does it mean to take a stance for what you believe in?”
The young people performed 20 minutes of performance material followed by a discussion in which they asked the audience questions around the theme and what they had seen.
Since the project’s inception, the delivery team have noted:
- The young people are growing in confidence and beginning to take ownership over the Youth Theatre model
- It is easier to recruit new members due to the reputation of the project
- The young people responded well to having an after-sharing discussion, and were empowered in holding a conversation with an external audience
- The young people are expressing excitement and commitment to develop their work into a full production in July