Army@TheFringe will feature a performance of ‘Forces Kids’
This is My Life commissioned by RCET, Scotland’s Armed Forces Children’s Charity, has been invited to perform this year for the first time at the Edinburgh Fringe as part of a new cutting-edge performance programme which explores aspects of army life.
This is My Life will be part of a new 6-piece drama, dance and music showcase called Army@TheFringe (being run in association with Summerhall). The shows will take place from 11 to 26 August at the Hepburn House Army Reserve Centre, in East Claremont Street, which will be transformed into a temporary performance space staffed by serving soldiers.
This is My Life, which has performances times on 14th and 15th August, is a witty, engaging and entertaining theatre show, which follows the story of a young boy called Kevin, whose father is deployed with the Royal Marines. The play, which was commissioned by RCET and produced by Hopscotch Theatre Company in 2015 for touring in schools, tackles sensitive issues like separation, bullying, and making new friends. It is estimated over 15,000 pupils and staff in schools throughout Scotland have seen This is My Life.
As well as educational resources and training for parents and teachers to support armed forces children affected by deployment and frequent moving and changes of schools, RCET also help children of veteran and serving families experiencing poverty, ill health, and disability. In recent years RCET has awarded over £1million in grants to help families pay for essential school clothing, after school clubs and activities so youngsters can develop their confidence as well as establish interests and friendships outside of the home or school environment.
RCET chief executive Colin Flinn says the invitation from The Army to perform at this year’s Fringe is a unique opportunity for the charity. “For the vast majority, growing up in an Armed Forces family is a very positive and rewarding experience, but where there is hardship at home and or frequent mobility and deployment anxieties, the impact on a child or young person’s education and consequently their life chances can be immeasurable. This is an incredible opportunity for us to shine the light on the some of the issues experienced by an overlooked and vulnerable young cohort of learners who deserve the same life chances as other young people.”
Reviews of This is My Life:
“All the pupils were engaged in the show from the beginning to the end. This is a great way of teaching pupils about a sensitive issue. One pupil in particular got a lot from it and was eager to share facts about his uncle (who is in the forces). We thoroughly enjoyed the show and this was a valuable learning opportunity for the class.” Miss Ross, Antonine Primary School, Drumchapel, Glasgow
“The show allowed children and adults to understand what family life is like when a parent is part of the Armed Forces. Also gives teachers an insight into the impact which this has on children”. Mrs M McFadden, St Stephen’s Primary School, Stockbridge, Edinburgh
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