Shetland YUF Theatre’s production of Blackout is being performed for one night only at the Garrison Theatre on Saturday, 16th May.
The production was premiered in Yell at the end of March and is being shown in Lerwick before it transfers to the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh next month.
Blackout is written by Davey Anderson and has been created from interviews between the playwright and a young offender in Glasgow. Using many of the techniques of verbatim theatre it tells the young man’s view of his own journey that leads to him being charged with attempted murder.
It is a short, hard-hitting play that raises deep questions about society, youth identity, violence and the justice system and although the show is based around the experiences of one young man, there are many resonances with the lives of all young people.
The performances in Yell were watched by theatre director Richard Twyman who has directed shows at both the National Theatre and the RSC.
In a written assessment of the production he wrote: “Blackout” was performed by an exceptionally committed and focused group of actors. The choral work had a fluidity and clarity that is very rare to see . . . The storytelling was entirely cohesive . . . at times disturbing, painful, uncomfortable and intimate, but always engaging and demanding our attention.
“This was a fantastic production, a powerful and intelligent reading of the play that was incredibly dramatically effective. The cast were really superb and it was great to see so many actors of different age and experience levels working so well together.”
The production is being performed as part of New Connections, the celebration of youth theatre organised by the National Theatre. Every year the National commissions leading contemporary playwrights to create a piece specifically for youth groups. Participating companies perform these in their home communities and at regional showcases.
Shetland YUF Theatre is an amalgamation of Shetland Youth Theatre and YUF Theatre Shetland, both of which have participated individually in past cycles of Connections, presenting work in Inverness, Helsinki, Edinburgh and London. This is the first time they have pooled their talents to perform a show.
Blackout is a very short production with the performance lasting just over 20 minutes. It is being performed three times on Saturday – at 7pm, 7.30pm and 8pm. Admission is free but there will be a collection box at the door with all proceeds going towards the Edinburgh trip.
Seats can be booked from Shetland Box Office on Lerwick 745555. Because of the content, it is advised that the production is suitable for a teenage/adult audience.