Ayr takes the limelight again

Hide & Seek - Gaiety Young Company perform as part of the National Festival of Youth Theatre.
Hide & Seek - Gaiety Young Company perform as part of the National Festival of Youth Theatre.

Ayr will once again take centre-stage as host to the UK’s largest youth theatre festival in 2019 following the town’s success at this year’s event.

More than 150 young performers from across Scotland descended on the town last month to take part in the 12th National Festival of Youth Theatre.

The youngsters, from 12 youth theatre groups, took part in workshops, performances and social activities held at the Gaiety Theatre, Carrick Street, in conjunction with South Ayrshire Council.

It is the first time that the town has hosted the festival produced annually by Youth Theatre Arts Scotland, which supports more than 23,000 young people in theatre activity.

Councillor Brian McGinley, economic development, tourism and leisure portfolio holder for South Ayrshire Council, said: “This was a great experience for the youngsters, not only were they learning from the experts, but it was an opportunity to gain confidence and make new friends too.

“I am hopeful that even more creative young people in South Ayrshire can get involved next time round.”

Jeremy Wyatt, chief executive, Ayr Gaiety Partnership, said: “We first discussed bringing NFYT to Ayr almost three years ago, so it was great to see everyone’s hard work pay off so well.

“All the young people were incredibly good to work with, and our Gaiety Young Company got the festival off to a great start.

“Around 60 of our staff and volunteers worked over the weekend and I know they all found the experience very rewarding.”

Kenny McGlashan, chief executive officer, Youth Theatre Arts Scotland, said: “We were overwhelmed by the welcome the National Festival of Youth Theatre received from the residents of Ayr and would like to thank the venues and audiences for creating such an amazing atmosphere for our youth groups.

“Festival productions included performances by local groups from Ayr, Ardrossan, Kilmarnock and Largs and we are proud that the National Festival of Youth Theatre was able to invest in both local youth groups and events contractors when bringing the event to the region.”

Kenny McGlashan, CEO of Youth Theatre Arts Scotland, added: “We were overwhelmed by the welcome the National Festival of Youth Theatre received from the residents of Ayr.”