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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Borders Youth Theatre

29th September 2011

This autumn the Borders Youth Theatre is presenting a short season of performance poems in the Scots language which can be seen in selected places within the Scottish Borders region. The performance pieces, called Wastin Times, were originally commissioned by the theatre from poet Harvey Holton back in 1993. Harvey, who sadly died in 2010, produced vigorous pieces in the Scots language which, although based on the style of the traditional Borders ballads, were, and are, intended to reflect contemporary themes which would appeal to both children and young adults. It was also the intention of the poet that younger people could be introduced to Scots in its written form.

The Borders Youth Theatre will begin rehearsals for Wastin Times on Saturday 8 October, which will be directed by John Haswell assisted by Oli Bisset and John Nichol. The themes explored in the performances include growing up, relationships, and thrill seeking, and will be addressed, and interpreted, by a new generation of young actors.

The Borders Youth Theatre runs workshops for over 150 young people aged between 8-25 years in various places in the Borders, including school holiday projects. Speaking about the work of the Theatre, and Wastin Times in particular, Trustees Chair David J Bisset commented “One of the reasons for commissioning the pieces from Harvey originally and for returning to them is to introduce the young people to the language and culture of the area in which they live.” Mr Bisset also added that for most younger people Scots in its written form certainly presents a challenge because they are not used to seeing how it is written. Because the pieces are not ‘scripts’ as such the actors are able to work with the director and stage these in heir own particular way. If you would like to learn more about the Borders Youth Theatre please follow this link:

You can see Wastin Times at the following locations: The Wynd, Melrose, Saturday 15 & 16 October 2011, Smailholm Village Hall, Friday 21 October, and the Burgh Hall, Peebles, Sunday 23 October. All performances begin at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £7 (£5 concessions) or a family ticket for £20 (two adults and two concessions). Tickets can be obtained from Red Shed Tickets at 19 Roxburgh Street, Kelso.