Young people snaffle Captain Hook’s keys to give sneak previews of Moat Brae and crocodile takes centre stage in town centre carnival
From sneak previews of the newly restored Moat Brae House to a CrocRock! Carnival, Dumfries is gearing up for a 10-day celebration of its JM Barrie heritage and of young people’s storytelling.
Dreams for the Future, from 24 November to 2 December, celebrates Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 and will feature events and activities for all ages involving storytelling, music, theatre and more.
It is a “thank you” to Dumfries and Galloway for its support in the restoration of Moat Brae House – where Peter Pan began – before it opens to the public next spring as Scotland’s National Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling.
Dreams for the Future offers a foretaste of the opportunities it hopes to provide for the region’s young people in years to come.
Highlights will include Mutiny! (1 December) when members of the JMB Creatives (Moat Brae’s group for under 26s) plan to grab Captain Hook’s jealously guarded keys and give members of the public a sneak preview of what’s inside the house.
There will also be the CrocRock! Carnival in the town centre ahead of the annual Dumfries Christmas lights switch-on and an evening of theatre called Staged, as well as the Take Flight Lecture.
Simon Davidson, Moat Brae’s Centre Director, said: “Dumfries and Galloway has been fantastic in supporting our long campaign to save Moat Brae and give it a new future at the heart of the community.
“We, and the JMB Creatives, want Dreams for the Future to be a celebration of young people’s storytelling, of Dumfries, of Moat Brae House and our links to Peter Pan and JM Barrie.
“It’s great that we can do all this during Scotland’s Year of Young People and to give people an idea of everything that Moat Brae has to offer when it opens to the public in 2019 as the new Scottish National Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling.”
Moat Brae was saved from demolition nearly 10 years ago. Its transformation is intended to help with the regeneration of the town by creating jobs and attracting visitors from all across the UK and beyond.
It also aims to inspire children and young adults, providing them with creative opportunities of all kinds. One of the attractions of Dreams for the Future will be the chance to meet and join a creative writing workshop led by leading children’s author Cathy Cassidy.
The Moat Brae team is working closely with a series of partners including Dumfries Academy to organise Dreams for the Future events. The CrocRock! Carnival, themed around the crocodile that was Captain Hook’s arch enemy in Peter Pan, and lights switch-on on 2 December is being organised jointly with Dumfries and Galloway Council.
Vice Chair of Nithsdale Area Committee, Provost Tracey Little, said: “We are delighted at the partnership between Moat Brae and Dumfries & Galloway Council at this year’s Christmas Lights switch-on. This year’s event will include some spectacular performances in the lead up to the lights being switched and there will be lots to do for all the family.”
Dreams for the Future is supported by the Year of Young People 2018 event fund, managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Dreams for the Future as part of the Year of Young People celebrations. The JMB Creatives are playing a central role in designing and delivering these brilliant events providing a sneak preview of the magical world of Moat Brae – it is fantastic to see young people directly contributing to Scotland’s position as the perfect stage for events in this special year.”
Image: Colin Hattersley