The Kingdom that danced...

Last year's project
Last year's project
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Over-60s urged to put their best foot forward for theatre project

Glenrothes folk over the age of 60 are among those being urged to get involved in a fun theatrical initiative.

Last October, The Fife Performance Ensemble, was created as part of Luminate - Scotland’s Creative Ageing Festival, and a unique show, based on the group’s own experiences sold out at Kirkcaldy’s Pathhead Halls.

Now the ensemble is going to do it all over again and this time it promises to be even bigger and better than in 2013 as the community theatre project is rolled out across the Kingdom.

This show, titled ‘In The Kingdom That Danced’, will be part of Luminate 2014 and it will involve working with older people from five areas of Fife, including Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline, South West Fife and Lochgelly.

A number of theatre practitioners will be travelling around the region leading a series of workshops starting later this month.

The workshops will be covering music, dance, creative writing, storytelling and performance. And there’s an open invitiation to any Fifers interested in getting involved in any aspect of the production, whether it is on the stage or behind the scenes.

A major element of these sessions will incorporate gathering stories from the workshop participants about their memories of living in Fife, focusing on the places and spaces which have shaped their lives.

Like last year’s project, this will feed into the final show and be collated into a book documenting the project process.

Alan Lyddiard, artistic director of Fife Performance Ensemble, said that participants from last year’s production of ‘Dancing Days’ will be involved again this year and will work as advocates for the project helping people get involved from all social backgrounds.

He told the Gazette: “It doesn’t matter if you don’t know your two step from your tango, the project is open to all.

“The only prerequisite is that participants must be over 60 to join.

“The Ensemble provides a great opportunity to learn new skills, have some fun and take a trip down memory lane.

“Drop in sessions are due to take place over the next few weeks, where anyone that’s interested can join the team for a cup of tea and have a chat about what is involved.”

Last year’s production, ‘Dancing Days’ featured a cast of around 35-40 after an appeal was launched in Kirkcaldy for volunteers to take part.

Some who got involved were from local amateur dramatic societies, some were people who danced at social dances and others were members of the community who had little or no experience of participatory arts.

And the team behind Fife Performance Ensemble are hoping for a good mix of people from all backgrounds again this year.

The project is funded by Creative Scotland and Fife Cultural Trust.

Alan added: “The aim will be to collect 100 stories from 100 community participants gathering tales of dance halls, work, family life, leisure times, hopes, desires, aspirations and life in the 

The Fife Performance Ensemble was set up to create beautiful contemporary theatre based on real stories from people in communities across Fife.

The project was initiated by Alan Lyddiard, local writer Stuart Paterson and designer Neil Murray.

And they work with older people because they believe that older people’s voices are not heard enough and that they have skills and talents that get forgotten as they reach their 60s.

The Ensemble wants to champion the stories and theatre skills of older people because they believe that they will inspire and entertain audiences of all ages.

Drop-in sessions

If you want to learn more about the project and find out how you can get involved, then why not attend one of the drop-in sessions planned for the coming weeks.

Rothes Halls, Glenrothes: Tuesday, May 20 at 11.30 a.m; Monday, May 26 at 6.00 p.m.

Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy: Tuesday, May 20 at 5.15 p.m; Tuesday, May 27 at 11.30 a.m.

Lochgelly Centre, Lochgelly: Monday, May 19 at 11.30 a.m; Tuesday, May 27 at 6.00 p.m.

Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline: Monday, May 19 at 5.15 p.m; Monday, May 26 at 11.30 a.m.

For further information on the sessions please call Alan Lyddiard on 07528745152 or email alan@theperformance