Fairytale summer for Viewforth pupils

Natasha Skinner, Liam Batten, Austin Curran and Brandon Sherrett
Natasha Skinner, Liam Batten, Austin Curran and Brandon Sherrett

Four pupils from Viewforth High School in Kirkcaldy have spent their summer productively by taking part in a Festival Fringe show.

Natasha Skinner took one of the lead roles in the Youth Music Theatre Scotland’s rock musical production of ‘Hamelin: The Last Child’, which is loosely based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale The Pied Piper, while her fellow S5 pupils Liam Batten, Austin Curran and Brandon Sherrett were in the theatre’s rock band which provided the musical accompaniment.

The pupils became involved in the show when the school was approached at the end of the summer term to see if anyone would be interested in being part of a Fringe production, and they volunteered.

The story begins in the town of Hamelin in 1824 where 130 children disappeared from the town, but it goes on to explore the heart-rending stories of lost children through the ages through events such as drink driving, sex trafficking, war and the Holocaust, and the drama is backed by stark and horrific video images and a strong soundtrack.

Claire Christie, a music teacher at Viewforth, said: “I saw the performance on the last night and it was almost sold out! It was a modern take on the story of the Pied Piper and was very powerful and thought-provoking.

“I’m so proud of all four pupils, and I still don’t think they realise how much of a big deal it is to be a Fringe performer. I spoke to the administrator of Youth Music Theatre Scotland, who was singing their praises and how integral they were to the show.”

‘Hamelin: The Last Child’ was performed at the Edinburgh Academy until August 10.

A review in the British Theatre Guide, said: “This worked well as a concert performance and has the promise of being developed into a fully-staged musical.”

Natasha said: “Taking part in the production made me more confident. I made lots of new friends. It also inspired me to do Performing Arts after I leave school.”

Liam added: “It was a fantastic experience and I would definitely recommend it to other people. I wanted to start doing music in theatre and this was a great way for me to do this.”

Lynn Porter, headteacher at Viewforth, said: “I am delighted that Natasha, Liam, Austin and Brandon had the opportunity to experience taking part in this brilliant production. They have really developed their confidence through it and Natasha realises she wants to continue in this post school, despite the hard work of doing five shows in a row.

“The boys in the band have benefitted from playing with others and in theatre which is a different experience for them.”