The FADS Junior team was the National winner of the Scottish Community Drama Association Junior One Act Play Festival Finals in Stranraer, in June 2012, with their acclaimed production of 'Beware the Jabberwock' by Ron Nicol.
Little did director Sheila Fraser think, when she started rehearsing this play in January this year, that she would achieve such success. After a long rehearsal period, the team was all ready for the first performance in front of a home audience in Fintry in March. They then sailed through the first round of the competition, as there was no competition! They therefore got a bye into the second round in Grangemouth where, to everyone's delight, they won ! Now the pressure was on to get the team to the finals in Stranraer.
A fundraising performance in Fintry enabled them to afford a bus to get there and arrange alternative travel so that three cast members, due to depart for France on the day of the performance, were able to be included. It was so rewarding to have such a successful outcome.
Although the adult club has managed second and third places in previous National finals, It is wonderful that the youth team achieved FADS' first National win. “We are very, very proud of them”, said Helen Watson, the club chairman.
All this did not happen without a huge input from experienced senior club members . The major effort from these volunteers ensured the whole production shone in all areas. The club's gratitude goes to : Sheila Fraser (director); Lorna Flisch (costumes and set design); Barbara McLeod (choreographer); Rosie Walters and Pam Lightbody (make up and hair); Martin Gibb (lighting); and Tony Flisch (sound.)
The club is also grateful to the many helpful parents and of course the wonderful youngsters themselves. They all worked really hard to come to the peak of their performance at the finals.
What the young actors had to say...
"June 16th, and the whole team was sitting together waiting. We had been waiting for this moment for six months. Every rehearsal, every night spent learning lines, every performance, had been for this moment. We all felt the same. Our stomachs churning for hours in anticipation of the few words the adjudicator Alisdair Hawthorn would say." - Dawn Kelso
"Our cheers resonated through the theatre, tears running down our faces. We had won, and we could not believe it. Our Youth Group formed only three years before. We felt privileged to gain the title of best youth group in Scotland.
We had been working on our version of 'Beware the Jabberwock' by Ron Nicol for six months.At first everything was slow and all a bit plain; but as soon as our amazing set and costumes were completed, we knew if we pushed ourselves past our limits, we could be a force to reckon with!" - Ella Gordon
"It was a slight disappointment to find we had a pass to the second round. It was terrifying entering the second round, without having had any competition in the first. We were up against two brilliant plays and didn't think we stood a chance. But amazingly, we won the East of Scotland Division and were heading for the finals!
It was an honour and were raring to improve our weird and wonderful little play.
The finals were creeping closer but our team was becoming frustrated and bored with the play. We were desperate to perform to an audience to get our adrenalin going. So when the time came, we were ready.
We enjoyed an audience that reacted; we enjoyed the experience of performing on a new stage; we enjoyed competing against different teams. Stranaer was a fantastic experience for everyone!" - Lucy Howie
"The whole competition has brought the team together. Literally spending 3 days a week, rehearsing for 6 months. As it’s only our 3rd year entering the SCDA youth competition, we never thought we would land the winning trophy.
The finals were a giant leap for us. We expected to go to Stranraer and be blown away by the 3 other groups, because they were amazing! The competition has given us a great confidence boost for the future, and we’ve been ecstatic to be part of it." - Karen Ross
Our thanks go to Sheila Fraser, Tony and Lorna Flisch and all crew members who enabled us to have this experience. The chance to work together for so long has brought us all so much closer. This has been the best part of 'The Jabberwock', and something that will stay with us all long after we've forgotten our lines.