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Electric Theatre Workshop: A showcase for what Dumfries and Galloway has to offer


Dumfries based  Electric Theatre Workshop are set to perform their play Blood Orange at the Edinburgh Fringe this summer.

In this Connecting feature, they tell us a bit more about what they do, what Blood Orange is about and what's next for them...


Electric Theatre Workshop was set up to develop performing arts potential – and to have fun. Get to know Dumfries and you will soon realise how much talent there is, and how much of it is untapped. A few years ago we set up studio spaces in the heart of the town and began working with people of every age and background from all across the area. Since then it’s been growing so fast it can be hard to keep track.


We want to give as many people as possible the chance, and encouragement, to get involved with the performing arts. We also want to provide a showcase for what Dumfries and Galloway has to offer – taking it out to the widest possible audience. The reasons for doing it are incredibly varied. At one level it’s about creating career opportunities, at another it’s about fulfilling creative potential and building communities. Then again, a lot of it’s about the sheer enjoyment people have from getting together to sing, act, make costumes, build sets and everything else that goes into a performance.

Blood Orange

Blood Orange is a punchy, dark, dramatic and sexual play that explores the efforts of Far Right extremists to infect rural Scotland.

It was inspired by real events. Last year the Scottish Defence League held a march in Dumfries. It was quite a shock that the Extreme Right should be pushing out of the cities and into the heart of rural communities. People from all across the area, including lots many from the arts, came together to oppose them. But we wanted to do something more enduring, and Blood Orange was the result.

It’s set in the club scene and digs down into some raw and uncomfortable realities about how vulnerable people can be to bigotry. In this case a young man’s family tragedies are cynically exploited, setting him up to commit a racist murder.

The play has had a great reception across the region, and at the Prague Fringe. We are really looking forward to bringing it to Edinburgh – especially as it’s being staged at Summerhall, which is such a great venue.

Current projects

There’s so much happening. We have developed a youth theatre and a community choir. Both are astonishingly popular. The choir is now the biggest vocal ensemble in southern Scotland. It performs at all sorts of festivals and events, and has even created its own original works. Dumfries Youth Theatre reaches over 300 young people a week and is doing a huge amount to push their creative potential. Listen to the Dumfries Community Choir perform the Great Escape below:

What's next?

Heard of the Big Burns Supper? It’s a fabulous festival which takes place around the Bard’s birthday in January. We are one of the driving forces behind it. And in 2015 it will be even bigger than ever – nine days of professional and community arts of all kinds, plus a huge street carnival through the heart of Dumfries. Our aim is for the Big Burns Supper to do for Dumfries and Galloway what the St Patrick’s Day Parade has done for Dublin.

Keep up to date with Electric Theatre Workshop's projects & performances on their Facebook and their website.

Electric Theatre Workshop received funding through the Dumfries & Galloway Place Partnership, which is a partnership between Creative Scotland, Dumfries & Galloway Council and the cultural sector in Dumfries & Galloway.

This article was published on 11 Jul 2014