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PACE youngsters showcase acting talent on Edinburgh grand stage

Young hopefuls from Paisley’s PACE Youth Theatre have been showcasing their acting talents on the grand stage of Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre.

A group of 24 from PACE, which started the careers of Paolo Nutini, James McAvoy and Still Game favourite Scott Reid, starred in a production of The Monstrum by Kellie Smith in the Scottish capital.

PACE youngsters showcase acting talent on Edinburgh grand stage

The production formed part of the National Theatre’s annual Connections festival of new plays by youth theatres and schools - providing young people with experience of professional theatre-making.

Kellie Smith’s gothic melodrama details the terrifying onset of adolescence, where an eerie village sees young people infected by a disease before transforming them into monstrous creatures.

The youth theatre hosted sold out performances of The Monstrum in Paisley and artistic director Mhairi Gilbert said there was a fantastic turnout in Edinburgh for the National Theatre production on March 22.

Mhairi said: “The Monstrum was a challenging production and was a tremendous success - a real achievement for the 24 young PACE hopefuls who performed in it.

“Home performances in early March completely sold out and our lovely, friendly support followed us to the Traverse in Edinburgh for our NTC Partner Theatre production. It really felt like a home away from home at the Traverse Theatre.

“The National Theatre’s Connections festival is an amazing project and a fantastic opportunity for young theatre makers.”

PACE are supporting Paisley’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2021, which aims to showcase the town’s cultural story and use its unique heritage to transform its future.

Mhairi added: “Being able to put Paisley on the map and spread the word about how much culture there is here in Paisley and Renfrewshire is great.

“The performance at Traverse is just another one of 2021 reasons why we in Paisley do it best!"

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “The PACE Youth Theatre group’s performance at Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre highlights the quality of talent we have here in Paisley.

“The passion and creativity of our young people epitomises the Paisley spirit and is a driving force behind our bid to become UK City of Culture 2021.”

PACE Youth Theatre run drama workshops in Paisley for young people aged 3-18, which aims to increase communication skills, confidence and performance skills. Find out more about their work here.