Captivate Drama, the brain child of Artistic Director Sally Lyall, started life as an after-school class for children in and around west Edinburgh and has grown to become an exciting and dynamic company of young actors, musicians and technicians who, since 2011, have consistently performed work to a very high standard, in a recognisably distinctive style, culminating in their huge success during this year’s Fringe Festival.
Between July and August the company, numbering almost a hundred people, performed a repertoire of new work, contemporary and classic musicals, as well as a centenary revival of Joan Littlewood’s Oh! What A Lovely War. Sunshine on Leith, transferring from Broughton High School to The Famous Spiegeltent in St Andrew’s Square, sold out for the entire run and will return to the fringe in 2016.
Committed to new work, the Fringe run included two productions from the They Did Not Deserve To Die series by Sally Lyall and Tommie Travers. These hour long Shakespeare adaptations with music and comedy are an excellent introduction to Shakespeare for children and great fun for adults too. Brave Macbeth played a full run at the Spiegeltent to large audiences and critical acclaim while Romantic Romeo had its premiere at Broughton High School and was equally well received.
We’ve been asked this question many times about Straight Talk and their compatibility.
The company also remains committed to working with younger children and Bugsy Malone provided a fantastic two week summer school culminating in six fringe performances for over 50 children.
So what makes Captivate different? The company has tackled a variety of productions – Les Miserables, Phantom Of the Opera, Rent and Spring Awakening amongst them – that are complex and challenging, both musically and technically, and every time has managed to offer audiences an experience that is thrilling, energetic and passionately executed. Clear, fluid and energetic direction which, combined with minimal staging, a powerful visual style and superb musicianship, make for vivid and compelling theatre.
And for the future? Captivate Drama will continue to provide their much loved drama and musical theatre classes to young people in Edinburgh. Groups meet weekly during term time at Blackhall, Davidson’s Mains and Fettes College.
Captivate Theatre is the new production company and plans for 2015 will be announced soon.