Preview: Borders Youth Theatre tackle The Musicians by Patrick Marber

Poster for Borders Youth Theatre production The Musicians

Poster for Borders Youth Theatre production The Musicians

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Members of Borders Youth Theatre are getting ready to take part in National Theatre Connections for the third time, and are looking forward to presenting Patrick Marber’s The Musicians.

Connections is an annual festival of new plays for youth theatres and schools, which gives young people access to the best new writing.

Youth Theatre groups across the UK were invited to submit first, second and third choices of plays that they wished to perform from the list of 12 available. This year, to celebrate 20 years of the festival, 500 youth theatre companies will be involved across the UK.

David Bisset, Acting Production Coordinator at BYT, said: “The past two years have seen us perform plays with very serious themes. [This year] the Musicians was our first choice, chosen because it is lighter and allowed us to include some younger performers. We have around 16 young people aged 12 to 19 taking part.”

The Musicians tells 
the story of a school orchestra, on its way to give a concert in Moscow at the European Festival of Youth, where they are to play Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony before an audience of cultural bigwigs. But their instruments have been impounded by Customs.

Luckily Alex, who cleans the hall, is a devout ‘Pinball Wizard’ fan, and comes up with a plan to save the day.

David said: “Youth theatres rehearse and give up to four performances at a local venue. This is visited by a member of the NT Connections team who gives useful feedback to the group. The group then take the revised performance to a partner theatre.”

BYT was lucky enough to receive some funding from Youth Chex for this production. Last year, the group took The Edelweiss Pirates to the Eden Theatre in Inverness, and are hoping to do the same with this year’s show.

The Musicians is on at Heart of Hawick on February 18-19, at 7.30pm. There is also a matinee performance on Thursday 18 at 1.30pm. Tickets £7 (£5 concs). To book, call 01450 360688 or drop into the Visit Scotland desk.