Theatre Royal gives kids from asylum-seeking families in Glasgow part in summer project

Theatre Royal has teamed up with social housing provider Mears to offer families with asylum-seeking children a spot on its summer programme.

Six children from three asylum-seeking families have joined Summer on Stage, where they have spent the last two weeks rehearsing a full-scale production which will be showcased this weekend.

The families arrived this year to the UK and have been supported by Mears, which supports asylum-seekers from countries such as Iran and Iraq.

The families have recently arrived in Glasgow and are currently residing in hotel accommodation while Mears work to provide them with housing and welfare support.

Children taking part in rehearsals.

Fellow families also staying in the hotel have been invited to attend one of the two performances of Pantomonium, the show they have been rehearsing.

One of the mothers of the children said that Summer on Stage has helped her family settle into a daily routine, especially ahead of school starting in August.

Jamie Lee Ward, MEARS partnership manager, said: “None of the children have previously experienced a theatre setting and so have been very excited to get involved with the singing, dancing, acting and scriptwriting. It has been a pleasure to see the children enjoying this new experience and seeing the development of those who were shy at the beginning really take to it in such a short space of time. It has been an amazing experience to work alongside the staff at the Theatre Royal to bring this opportunity to the families residing with us in Glasgow. Alison and Angie at the theatre have been amazing in every way at ensuring that the children are supported around integration and have been taking extra time where needed to access translation services. Thank you again to ATG and Theatre Royal, Glasgow for this generous offering.”

Alison Cowan, senior creative learning producer at Theatre Royal, said: “We are delighted to welcome children from families that Mears is supporting to Summer on Stage. The children have been incredible, throwing themselves into rehearsals with energy, creativity and humour and we are so proud of what they have achieved. We hope that by getting involved in Creative Learning Theatre Royal it has helped their integration into the cultural life of Glasgow and that we can work together again on future projects.”

Organised by the Theatre Royal’s Creative learning team, Summer on Stage, is a two-week performing arts programme to give budding performers between the ages of 7-17 years the opportunity to learn while creating a show, make friends, and build confidence.

At the end of this summer school, participants perform their show on the Theatre Royal stage for two performances this Friday and Saturday.

This year’s production Pantomonium! is a summer panto, the perfect show if you love panto but don’t like waiting till Christmas.

There’s panic in Glasgow’s Pantoland! Everything has gone missing and no-one is able to live happily ever after. The most wicked baddie in the kingdom is causing mischief, and the magic fairy needs a hero to save the day, in the form of the ultimate supergranny - Wee Senga! Along with her grandkids Silly Billy and Silly Millie, the trio head on a quest through Pantoland to fix the fairytale fiasco!

Will Aladdin get to rub the lamp? Will the pumpkin become a carriage? And will Sleeping Beauty ever awaken? Our heroes must save the day, with some help from a magic wand, and Senga’s bag of messages!