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When taking a paper copy, we would appreciate any donation that you can give. This will go straight back into supporting our projects across Centrestage!

Page 02. | Your Centrestage

Festive Menu Thursday 12th December - Thursday 19th December

We’ve launched our 2019 Christmas campaign at Centrestage and this year, it’s all about ‘magic’. At Centrestage, our vision of ‘building energetic and inclusive communities with the arts at the heart is never more important than during the most wonderful time of the year!

HOMEMADE SOUP OF THE DAY served with a warm bread roll CREAMY GARLIC MUSHROOMS served on garlic bread, topped with Gruyere cheese CHICKEN LIVER PATE

served with toasted bread, crisp salad and red onion marmalade

Every single corner of our Centrestage community will be getting into the “Magical” Christmas spirit

and for updates on all of our Christmas plans, keep an eye on our social media channels and website. We have so much to look forward to this festive season





including the ever popular Aspire Pantomime. This year, Aspire will be presenting their

TRADITIONAL ROAST TURKEY AND TRIMMINGS served with root vegetables BRAISED BEEF IN A REDCURRANT JUS served with creamy mash and root vegetables CHEF’S VEGETARIAN STROGANOFF served with scented rice


Adventures’ and all shows can be booked online now at Our Café/ Bar will feature the return of our festive hot drinks and the wonderful Christmas menu created by our chefs will be available in our café bar from Thurs 12th- Thurs 19th Dec. Don’t miss out! Call 01563 551505 for a reservation and


AND RASPBERRY CHEESECAKE served with honeycomb and ice cream STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING served with cream or ice cream

remember that Centrestage Gift Vouchers are also available starting at just £10. Have you seen our Christmas Advert? Follow the story of #Grace who has a dream to perform on stage. Watch as the Centrestage magic unfolds! We can’t wait to welcome you this Christmas. From everyone at Centrestage, have a very Merry Christmas and an awesome 2020!


SELECTION OF CHEESE AND BISCUITS £3.95 MINCE PIE AND CREAM £1.00 For reservations, please contact our Reception on 01563 551505 or pop in and see us at 11-13 James Little Street, Kilmarnock Your Centrestage | 03.

Hello Welcome to our Festive Issue of Your Centrestage and what a year it has been, filled with incredible memories of so many wonderful events, achievements and people. This will be our final Christmas across our current venues as we prepare to bring all that we do to the Centrestage Village next summer, so we are looking forward to making this a Christmas to Remember. We will all have so many special memories of Centrestage to share as we get ready for this new chapter and we will be asking for everyone who has been part of our story to share their favourite shows and anecdotes with us as we enter 2020. It’s so important that we capture all that we have made happen so far and, as part of this, we will be working together to create a “Time Capsule” of Centrestage and Kilmarnock Academy memories that will go on display in the Village. Look out for details of how you can get involved in the New Year …but first, it’s definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas! We hope to see you often over the Festive Season and we cannot wait to see you all in the New Year.

Fiona and Paul Page 04. | Your Centrestage


Aspire ’tripped a little light fantastic’ in the Centrestage






Aspire2Perform companies entertained audiences with their very own take on the popular ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ film, with all performances being

wonderfully received. Our audiences howled with laughter at the comedic routines of the cast as well as the straight-talking quips







performers portrayed the heart-warming scenes perfectly. The message of ‘letting your imagination be your guide’ was certainly in full force for the weekend! Katie told us; “The cast did fabulously, Mary Poppins is one of my favourite films and they certainly did it justice! A huge well done to the class leaders as well, they clearly worked very hard to ensure everyone had a chance to shine!” Our Aspire classes meet on a Thursday evening and work towards two productions a year, including the famous ‘Aspire Panto’, which takes place the weekend of the 5th, 7th and 8th of December. If you would like to take part in our Aspire classes, please contact Reception for more information.

Book your tickets at Reception now for ‘Aspire’s Advent Adventure’! Page 05. | Your Centrestage

Our Centrestage Story ALAN JARDINE & STUART CAMPBELL | ASPIRE “I used to go to the Grand Hall with a different group

“I started here in 2007 and I’ve been in shows here

and it was through them that I learned about

ever since, although I have been performing since I


was four years old.

I love singing, acting, dancing, everything like that,

At Centrestage, I like to enhance my performing skills

and that’s why I love coming to Centrestage. I enjoy

and hope to join the main Centrestage Performers

performing with others, seeing all my friends and all

group on a Wednesday night.

the shows I’ve performed in so far.

The main thing I enjoy about Centrestage is seeing

If I had to choose my favourite show I’ve done so far

my friends and performing in ‘Les Miserables’ which

it would be ‘Les Miserables’ because my biggest goal

I hope to do again very soon.

was to be a leading role in a musical and I played Jean Valjean. My favourite role so far was when I played a Dame in last year’s panto.

Being at Centrestage gives me confidence because I love being able to get on the stage. My future goal is to continue performing as I love being on stage. Centrestage makes me very happy and I would like to say a big thank you to them because I really love

all the people here so much!” Alan Jardine | Aspire

Page 06. | Your Centrestage

So far I have performed in ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’, ‘Grease’, ‘Les Miserables’, ‘Mamma Mia’ and ‘Mary Poppins’.

The main thing I would like to do is continue performing at Centrestage and hopefully get a qualification in Musical Theatre.” Stuart Campbell | Aspire


The third show, entitled ‘The Bargarran Witches’, was performed by the Adult Dance Theatre Company and told the dark story of seven women accused of witchcraft in Paisley in the 17th century. The performers perfectly communicated the widespread hysteria that took place in Scotland at that time Finally, our senior Dance Theatre Company presented their sensitive portrayal of ‘The Choice.’ The story of sixteen year old ballerina and gymnast, Edith Eger,

‘All The Beautiful Things’

How going hungry In September,children our Centrestage dance companies affects presented four thought-provoking and powerful originaltheir dance theatre productions. for whole lives

who was sent to Auschwitz in 1944, was performed beautifully and respectfully by the company and left the audience feeling moved and humbled by the performance.

Mayhem Dance Company presented “All the Brilliant Things”, which told the tale of Finch and Violet, who meet at the top of their school’s bell tower with plans to jump off. However, together they instead decide to make a list of all the brilliant things in the world worth living for.

‘The Bargarran Witches’

Audience member Jenny told us; “The performers

were absolutely fantastic in dealing with such a relevant and delicate subject matter with grace and respect. Well done Centrestage!”

Jeanette had this to say;

Fusion then presented ‘21 Days’, showing Zoe’s regret at the devastating effect her suicide has on her family. Making a deal with Death, her friend Alex is given 21 days to convince Zoe to rethink her actions.

‘21 Days’

“The dancers were just excellent, the way they

portrayed such a sensitive story with such dignity was just beautiful. Absolutely outstanding!”

‘The Choice’

Look out for another Dance Fringe in February with our dance companies! Page 07. | Your Centrestage


In Act 2, the 12-16yrs Young Actors explored themes of exclusion, bullying and gang violence through a series of monologues in a short play entitled ‘Gold’. This





portrayed the real violence and pressure of conformity that today’s young people deal with in everyday life.

‘Mission To Save Fairyland’

How going hungry affects children In October, all three of our acting companies took to the their stage to bring our audience an evening filled for whole lives with scenes, sketches and songs.

Our Adult Actors were up first to transport us into ‘Fairyland’ with short sketches taking a modern twist on well-known fairytale characters and written by

William told us; “The first Act was just so witty, the

the actors themselves! From Elphaba and Dorothy’s

clever use of jokes and puns just made everything

‘Frexit’ debate to the ‘Trial of the Big, Bad Wolf’,

ten times funnier, and the second Act really hit

there was plenty of entertainment and laughter in

home the pressures that our kids face in today’s

Act 1!

modern society.” We are so grateful to Elaine Convery for leading our Acting


for the past

years. Their

achievements under her directorship have been wonderful and we are delighted to welcome long term Centrestage member and local drama teacher Laura McCourt to our team, to lead our actors into 2020 and beyond!

‘Frexit, Frustration and Folderol’

Our 8-11yrs Junior Actors then took our audience on a ‘Mission To Save Fairyland’ from a variety of health and safety nightmares. From Humpty Dumpty’s unstable seat on the wall to ‘Rock -A-Bye Baby’ on the





Page 08. | Your Centrestage






Back in September, Centrestage was taken on ‘A Gospel Journey” with our three choirs performing gospel classics such as ‘My Church’ and ‘Oh Happy Day’ to favourite show tunes like ’Can You Feel The Love Tonight’ and ‘This Is Me’! Every Friday evening since 2006, our Gospel & Soul Choir has come together at Centrestage to discover new music and enjoy the classics that have been part of our tradition

since the very beginning. Gospel & Soul is all about the joy of singing together and not about how ‘well’ you sing. There is no audition to join and everyone is welcome to be part of our Friday night fun! This sense of togetherness was clear to see as both the adult Gospel & Soul choir and the junior choirs, FIZZ and SHINE, sang together, with ‘Circle of Life’ and ‘Higher Love’ being particular favourites that had the audience singing along and up on their feet by the final chorus of

“Oh Happy Day” led by Gospel leader Kirsty! Joyce told us; “You always know you’re in for a good night when the Gospel & Soul Choir perform! There’s just a tremendous

amount of effort that goes into entertaining the audience and ensuring everyone gets a chance to sing along.” The Gospel & Soul Choirs range in age from 5 years to 70 plus years and everyone adds their own special energy to

every big sing, so why not make this the year that you join in with all the fun? Our Reception team will be happy to tell you more about how you can get involved!

Page 06. | Your Centrestage

Page 09. | Your Centrestage

My Centrestage Story CLAIRE MCNELLIE | GOSPEL & SOUL “Centrestage came into my life when the Centrestage

We started going as a community to see the shows

double decker bus arrived in Rankinston! We had

in Kilmarnock at Centrestage which was new to all of

never seen anything like it.

us. We just loved them all and the kids did too!

We had no idea what it was or what to expect. But we soon found out it was fun! Upstairs singers were entertaining the kids where there was a soft play and a games room and downstairs a chef showed us how to make great recipes. There were even meals to take home for folk who needed them! The leaders were so friendly and told us to take what you need and pay what you can. We had never had anything like this in Rankinston. I loved it! As time went on I started to volunteer. I love helping my community and everyone was so grateful for the meals! I knew where old folk were that couldn’t get

We couldn’t wait to get a chance to sing ourselves and before we knew it, we were onstage too!

I had found my new passion and now I come every Friday to Centrestage to meet my pals from Ardeer and other Centrestage communities and we sing together at Chicks@6 and Gospel. Our kids come too and they love the music theatre and junior

gospel classes. I’ve even achieved food hygiene and cooking qualifications on the EAT course!. Centrestage has changed my life in so many ways. It has boosted my confidence and allowed me to believe in myself. I have volunteered, learned new skills and helped other people. It feels amazing.

out and I loved taking the meals to them and having

To think this all started with a bus arriving in

a wee chat. Although I am very shy, I could feel my


confidence growing.


Page 10. | Your Centrestage

Fiona McKenzie Awarded Honorary Doctorate FROM GLASGOW CALEDONIAN UNIVERSITY

On Tuesday 26th November 2019 our Founder,

for their vision in setting up Centrestage thirteen

Fiona McKenzie, was recognised with an Honorary

years ago and for their hard work in making that

Degree of

Doctor of Letters from Glasgow

dream a reality.






contribution to leadership development in young people through the arts and community.

There is no more worthy a recipient than Fiona for the award of this Honorary Doctorate which is a testament to her commitment to developing people

The annual winter graduation took place within the

of all ages from all backgrounds and experience and

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall as the University

using the arts to help them to become the very best

brought together students from across the campus

version of themselves."







achievements from the academic year. The graduation also provides the platform to recognise individuals who champion positive activity within their chosen profession.

Fiona McKenzie said,

”It is a true honour to receive this award. I accept it with sincere gratitude on behalf of our team; past, present and future and I am thankful to everyone who has supported, guided and advised us on our

We are incredibly proud of the honour bestowed to

journey so far. Centrestage is about to embark on

Fiona by the University.

another new chapter and I am excited to share the

Eleanor McLaren, Chair of Centrestage Communities

story in the weeks and months ahead.”

said, “All of us at Centrestage are so proud of both our Founders, Fiona McKenzie and Paul Mathieson,

Page 11. | Your Centrestage


It’s always an ‘unlikely afternoon’ when our Lads perform, and Sunday 6th October was certainly no exception! Joined by special guests Chicks@6, Catalyst Voices and junior performers Ignition, our Unlikely Lads brought joy to everyone’s Sunday afternoon! From the Country and Western medley to the Celebration of 60s Girl Bands, the audience was

treated to a wonderful variety show that is a highlight of every year. MC Stuart Bird interviewed each group of performers and it was clear just how much everyone enjoyed having their chance to get on stage and entertain their families and friends. William told us; “I come along to every Unlikely Lads show as my grandpa sings with them. It’s great to see the joy and satisfaction he gets from being allowed to perform onstage. And the other groups

were amazing too!” Look out for the Unlikely Lads, Chicks@6 and Catalyst Voices


they join us for ‘A Very

Centrestage Christmas’ on Dec 19th.

Page 12. | Your Centrestage

Page 05. | Your Centrestage

My Centrestage Story MAURICE COVILLE | GIE IT LALDY “When my wife got Alzheimer’s, we were recommended to come along to Centrestage and it was just great. As soon as we entered for the first time it was like having a blanket wrapped around us. We started at Musical Generations which was high energy- Music- Coffee- Music…it was like fireworks and the camaraderie was fantastic! Then when Gie It Laldy started, we came along to that too and it was far more relaxed, with great chats and a good old sing song. I am so thankful for it. When my wife died in 2017, I felt guilty that I was still coming along but they said “If you don’t come we’ll send the dogs for you!” So that was that! I come along every week and I love coming to the shows at the weekend too. It’s just terrific. Everyone, without forcing themselves on you, just takes care of you; looks after you; chats with you. I feel magic when I get home after visiting Centrestage. I couldn’t be without it. For as long as I’m able to come in, I’ll come in.”

Maurice Page 13. | Your Centrestage

We’ve Lost a True Friend On Monday 4th November, 2019, we lost one of the best. How thankful we are to have been able to call Jim Law our friend at Centrestage.

A life lived with so much purpose and so much love. Cameron Hill, who performed regularly with Jim at Centrestage and at events across the town, gave a

Jim and his wife Jean have been at the heart of our

moving tribute to Jim at his funeral and as part of it,

Centrestage family for so long, often attending ‘Gie it

he wrote this poem which we share with you now,

Laldy’ and ‘Musical Generations’ together. Latterly

which sums up the legend who was Jim Law.

Jim volunteered with us at Centrestage, helping support where he could, always with a smile. None

of us will ever forget his voice, his laugh, his stories, his jokes and his wonderful and irrepressible love for life, music and people. Jim was part of the Centrestage family at James Little

Street almost daily. Our team and wider community will miss him very much. To his family, thank you for sharing your wonderful Dad with us, he has made such a difference to so many people.

Page 14. | Your Centrestage

Page 15. | Your Centrestage

Jim Law When he walked through our doors And began entertaining Little did we know What a friend we’d be gaining The café bar He would occasionally frequent And soon he became A well kent gent He came to Gie it Laldy With his beloved wife Jean He’d tell you a joke And it would rarely be clean. His weekly spectacle was The Song of the Clyde To rapturous applause He’d stand there with pride Performing with passion Presence and joy When it came to Robert Burns He was the real McCoy With kindness and wit He’d light up a room With Jim’s friendship and laughter It was hard to feel doon. Humour; with that He was stacked to the hilt And he’d make the ladies squeal With a swish of his kilt Singer, performer Pianist extraordinaire We’re forever grateful For his time and his care Joking and singing Hours he’d spend And best of all He became our friend He really was, The best of them a’ We will always remember Our great friend Jim Law Poem by Cameron Hill Thank you for the music Jim. We could not be more grateful. From all of your Centrestage Family x

LOGAN POP-UP RESTAURANT Our EAT team were delighted to be asked back to Logan Primary for a second season of EAT due to the success of our previous course and the team work displayed by the graduates earlier in the year! Head teacher Denise McColl used part of the school Pupil Equity Fund

to bring parents and children together through her TACO group (Team Around Community).

The course highlighted parents and children

working together and at the end of the 12 week course, a pop up restaurant was created with parents cooking, children serving and the community sharing a three course meal around the tables


Due to the success of the pop up restaurant which

welcomed over 70 guests, Denise decided this had to continue over the coming months! In November, the original candidates gathered again in the Logan Primary kitchen to create a menu for their community once again which was themed around St Andrews Day, The starter was a choice of tattie soup or bruschetta (named McBrushetta to give the Scottish feel!!), a main course of stovies or chicken and haggis and the children could also choose choice of mac and cheese – a firm favourite! The dessert was cranachan or apple and rhubard crumble – delicious!! The scene was set with two of the pupils playing the chanter as the community took their seats for the extravaganza!! Over 40 people attended the event and the tables were set and decorated by the children with art work displayed in frames that had been created in the

art workshops also delivered as part of the programme by Eoghann MacColl. We are now looking forward to our Christmas pop up restaurant in Logan primary, taking place on 19th December!!

Page 17. | Your Centrestage

Pre-School at Centrestage As we get ready for our move to the Village, we are

‘Teeny Talent’ classes introduce all the elements of

revisiting the activities that can be accessed by our

musical theatre in preparation for our youngest

youngest members. Whilst we are limited in times that

performers joining our ‘Wee Stars’ classes from the

we can offer them at present, at the Village there will

age of 4 years. Parents are encouraged to have some

be far more opportunity to expand performances and

time to themselves while their wee ones play!

classes for our wee people- and their grown ups!

So, on Tuesdays, please drop in and enjoy “Baby & Me”, Wriggle & Rhyme and Teeny Talent, all in the company of ‘Poppy the Panda’ and ‘Leo the Lion’.

Elizabeth tells us; “We’ve been coming along to the Pre School classes since Felicity was just a few weeks old, then of course I started to bring her little sister Verity along once she

‘Baby & Me’ class is for babies from birth to 12

was old enough. They both enjoy it very much, they

months and their grownups and includes sensory

enjoy the interaction with other children, the format

activities, singing and movement!

that remains sort of the same but not the same every

‘Wriggle & Rhyme’ is for toddlers up to the age of 2 years and these fun-filled sessions include stories, singing, movement, dance and play.

week. They know what to expect and they look forward to the different parts, especially the ‘Story Bag’ which I think is a big hit!”

Doreen tells us; “I enjoy the Pre School stage here

See timetable below for all

because it amuses and stimulates the children. My

Pre School classes on offer

grandson loves coming because he interacts with

at Centrestage.

other children and he’s always happy when he’s here.”

Meet Poppy and Leo!


Baby & Me Wriggle & Rhyme Teeny Talent Page 18. | Your Centrestage


Birth-12 months 1-2 yrs 2-4 yrs


Tuesday Tuesday Tuesday


10am - 10.30am 10.45am - 11.30am 11.45am - 12.30pm

£ / Week £2 £3 £3

Page 19. | Your Centrestage

Page 20. | Your Centrestage

OUR CENTRESTAGE 2018/2019 IMPACT REPORT HAS ARRIVED. IT’S TIME TO TELL YOU MORE. We are privileged to welcome, work with and support over 2000 participants across Ayrshire each week at Centrestage. Our 2018/ 2019

‘Impact Report’ shares the numbers and statistics, but more importantly, tells the stories of those who engage across our activities from Catalyst to Creative Learning each day. Driven by our vision, we continue to champion our approach of using the arts to bring people together, creating energetic and inclusive communities. Eleanor McLaren, Chair of Centrestage Communities comments, “It gives me great pleasure to present the Centrestage 2018-19 Impact Report. How very special to see the entire breadth of Centrestage work represented here and to share with you some stories of a small number

of our participants. We have the privilege each week to work with over 2000 people across Ayrshire. Together they make up the Centrestage community, each participant with their own history but never defined by that history. A community where there is always space for one more, for someone new to be welcomed in. A community with arts - including the culinary arts of food - at its heart.” The Report also shares information on developments at the Centrestage Village and thanks our supporters, to whom we are extremely grateful. Centrestage Founder Fiona McKenzie said, ” It is so important that we take time to reflect on the challenges and achievements of the past year as we prepare to move forward into an exciting new chapter filled with responsibility and opportunities.” Read








now; If you would prefer a physical copy, please email Frank Gormanley, contact details below who will arrange for a copy to be sent via post. #artsattheheart | #funfoodfolk | #csimpactreport

Page 21. | Your Centrestage


Takes over Tesco Extra, Irvine The wonderful total of £6696 was raised at the

incredible total is a wonderful result which will make

'30 Hour Piano Playathon' charity fundraising event in

such a difference to so many.We are grateful to

aid of three very special charities; Ayrshire Hospice,

everyone who has made it happen.”

Centrestage and the Swanson Family Charity.

Ronald Swanson jr, the assistant fundraising manager

Held at Tesco Extra in Irvine, 15 pianists came

for Ayrshire Hospice said: "We were delighted to be

together to play for 30 consecutive hours performing

one of the nominated charities to benefit from this

a wide variety of musical styles to the delight of the

new and creative fundraising event. Congratulations


to all who played their part contributed and donated

Ron Swanson Snr, Organiser of the Event, said:

"To use one of my favourite quotes from Michael Jordan - 'Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen' - Sincere thanks to everyone who so very kindly and willingly gave of their time and talents to support our 'Playathon'





collectively, as 'one team', we made it happen. "I am humbled and extremely grateful to the thousands of people who donated to this imaginative and innovative event - thank you!" Russell Houston, General Manager of Tesco Extra, Irvine, said: "We are delighted to support such a worthwhile cause, bringing together our customers and colleagues in Tesco Irvine with live music and

talented pianists...really well done on such a fantastic total." Centrestage Founder, Fiona McKenzie said: "This has been such a special event and to have raised such an

Page 22. | Your Centrestage

to the amazing fundraising total."

Bring on 2020!

Page 23. | Your Centrestage


‘The Magic of the Musicals’ came to Centrestage theatre once more this year as our CS Performers kicked off November 2019 with ‘One Night Only’. With a host of Broadway and West End hits from musicals including Dreamgirls, Come From Away and Waitress, there was something to suit everyone’s tastes! The rendition of ‘Cell Block Tango’ also went down a storm, especially in the lead up to our 15-17yrs and 15-

21yrs productions of ‘Chicago’. The “Come From Away” medley was also met with great appreciation from the audience despite being lesser known than many other numbers performed on the night. Phyllis told us; “I always enjoy the Magic of the Musicals performances as I like hearing a mixture of both classic and modern shows. I absolutely love ‘Chicago’ so I was delighted to hear a few of my favourite songs and enjoyed a good sing-a-long with my friends!”

The ‘One Night Only’ pre-theatre menu was also a hit with those who attended, with many commenting on the fact they came into the Café/Bar for dinner before the show as the menu looked so good! Let’s hope this Magic of the Musicals performance graces our stage again soon and isn’t just for ‘One Night Only!’ Keep an eye out for our next CS Performers production to be announced soon!

Page 24. | Your Centrestage

My Centrestage Story ALI HUNTER | VOLUNTEER “I first got involved with Centrestage through mental

passion for everything they’ve done and still hope to

health services in 2013.


I had been ill for years and was on loads of

If I can make someone smile, that’s me happy.

medication. I wasn’t going outside. I didn’t mix with people and was really isolated. I was referred to Centrestage by my occupational therapist to a group that Fiona had taken on. A group of 9 of us turned up for it and none of us had any idea what we were getting into!

We were all really anxious and couldn’t believe it when

When we started, I had problems with belief. I asked Fiona what it was. She said it’s what you know for sure will happen. It took me a while but now I believe in me.”


we went into a room with a piano and Fiona started playing it. None of us sang but none of us ran away either. We became the Evolve group!

That was the start for me. Over the years, we learned about our strengths and tried loads of new things; arts, crafts; writing; even singing…Fiona asked me to come along to the gospel choir but I was too scared to sing, so I’d sit at the back and crochet. But then I

started joining in and now I sing every week with Gospel and Chicks@6. I’ve even sung a solo! I found everything scary at first but then it just became funny, daft and enjoyable. I came every single day

after not wanting to come in the door. I love it all! After a while, I started volunteering with Musical Generations and that is what I love most. I love making people laugh and listening to their stories. I love their

Page 25. | Your Centrestage

Keeping you up to date! We’re now in our Winter season at Centrestage and work continues to progress at the Centrestage Village. Here

are the latest developments and pictures of what’s been going on since our last update… The Theatre foundations and structural support are around 60% complete. Once finished, over the next few weeks, more cosmetic works will be able to commence. Two former Science classes on the second floor have now been opened up above the stage, making way for the

Fly Tower. Once operational, this will enable vertical movement of scenery, curtains and lighting. Various rooms within the 1898 sandstone building are being transformed into bright rehearsal spaces that will be utilised by our Creative Learning team. With environmentally friendly LED lighting and upcycled flooring from the assembly hall; we’re consciously doing our bit to re-use materials from the site, protecting the environment in the process. ‘Historical past, Artistic future’ | Centrestage Village | Coming 2020!

#artsattheheart Page 26. | Your Centrestage

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Stuart Bird |

Head of Creative Learning

There are so many exciting developments coming up including the move to our new Centrestage Village site, lots of exciting Christmas shows and events, festive food menu and hot drinks, all your favourite classes and you can now book your class in the comfort of your own home using our new online booking system. What a time to be a part of Centrestage! It’s been a fantastic year of making creative memories… and there are many, many more to come in 2020!


Follow this process to BOOK Creative Learning classes ONLINE NOW! Click the ‘Fun’ tab on our website

• •

Make your selection… (Musical Theatre/Dance…) •

Choose specific class and enrol

• • •

Click ‘Sign Up’

Follow the registration process

Confirmation will be sent to your email account That’s it! #themagicishere

Page 28. | Your Centrestage Page 29. | Your Centrestage

‘Our Story, Our Future’ On Saturday 19th October, we welcomed new and

by Centrestage groups, before the evening was

existing friends from across the business community

brought to a close by our Centrestage Ambassadors

to learn about the wider work of Centrestage and to

who performed a fantastic “Wired for Sound”

hear of the impact of our projects and activities


across Ayrshire.

We are so grateful to everyone across our #oneteam

We were also able to share the challenges that we

who made such a challenging event happen across

can encounter as we bring people together to create

such a busy weekend and we are thankful to

new futures, proving that past labels can be

everyone who attended and who has pledged their

overcome. Through delivering support in a different


way to those who require it, alongside trusted

partners, and connecting people across communities and backgrounds, we are now able to measure Social Return on Investment that provides significant support to local authority delivery.

We were privileged to be joined by many participants who shared their powerful stories with our guests and who joined in throughout the evening with the emotional performances presented

Page 30. | Your Centrestage

Page 31. | Your Centrestage


We’ve launched our “Magic” 2019 Christmas campaign at Centrestage and our ‘The Magic Is Here This Christmas’ video reflects just that. Follow Grace as she works away whilst dreaming of performing on stage, then watch as the Centrestage magic unfolds! Look out for Grace’s story across our social media channels and please like and share so we can spread the magic this Christmas. Enjoy some behind the scenes shots of the fun we had creating it!

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Page 05. | Your Centrestage

My Centrestage Story DAVID WATSON | CATALYST “I heard about Centrestage first through homeless

others really excited me! I attended Catalyst every day

services because

I was living chaotically, abusing

and became a permanent fixture in the kitchen,

alcohol, sleeping on friend’s sofas and on the streets,

cooking lunch for everyone, making me feel really

putting my addiction above food. I had no purpose

worthwhile. Things were looking up. I got permanent

or direction in my life and I felt completely alone and

accommodation. I felt settled and excited about my


future. I had a home, a safe place.

I was offered temporary accommodation and an

Keeping myself busy has had a positive impact on my

intensive support worker recommended I try Catalyst.

alcohol addiction. I no longer feel the need to fill the

I arrived at the door and my anxiety levels were through the roof, what if no none likes me? I don’t

know what to expect! I had nothing to worry about! I

days drinking and my mind wasn’t working overtime, dwelling on the past and worrying about the future. It has made a huge difference to my mental health.

was greeted by a staff member who listened, who

I became an official volunteer too, helping with

spent time getting to know me, dealing with every

Enterprise, Musical Generations and on front of

single barrier and getting solutions, making me feel

house. I couldn’t believe it. I even had my own badge

like there was light at the end of the tunnel!

and t-shirt. I was giving back, something that made

I was given a tour and told about the art studio, the music rooms and the kitchen area, which really interested me –I loved cooking when I was young so being able to make meals from scratch to share with

me feel good. I have friends now. I have a reason to leave the house and I fill my days doing things that make me feel worthwhile.

David Page 33. | Your Centrestage


Page 34. | Your Centrestage

STEPHEN LAWSON | CATALYST “I first got to know Centrestage in prison during the

This time at Catalyst it just clicked. I was determined I

music class and Catalyst class there.

wouldn’t go back to prison and I was supported every

I opened up about my addiction and how it had led to me offending over and over again. I explained how I desperately wanted to seek recovery inside prison and on my release, but I’d tried before unsuccessfully. I

knew I needed support. This time felt different, I was ready for the challenge. When I got out, I went to Catalyst to get into a routine, taking it one day at a time. I took part in the weekly recovery meetings, sharing my story, which isn’t easy to do.

step of the way by everyone there and, even when I had an off day and my nerves kicked in, they would pick me up, reassure me and lift my spirits. They would phone me to make sure I was okay and reassure me that I was always welcome; to take everything one day at a time. I really felt part of the family. Things started to look up for me. I was settled at home, attending meetings regularly, at Catalyst and within the recovery community and I felt that I was

getting back in control. Then Catalyst supported me to connect with StartScotland, who put me forward for

My struggle with alcohol negatively affected my whole

an interview with Timpson’s. I was so excited and

life, it affected my mental health, it ruined relationships

couldn’t believe my luck when I was offered a work


trial which resulted in me getting a full time job!







opportunity for relationships. Everything broke down, I lost everyone and everything. Things were so bad that I could no longer live in the family home and found myself living on the streets, sleeping in an alleyway for shelter. I would black out and not remember how I had behaved and what I had done to hurt the people I cared about. I was someone else because of the alcohol, someone I hated. I had to change.

So now, I‘m working, I’m sober, I’ve stopped my offending behaviour, my mental health is in a good place and I’m making good life choices. I know that this is an ongoing journey but I know how to help

myself and who I can turn to for support when I need it. I am living proof that things can turn around!”

Stephen Page 35. | Your Centrestage

Centrestage Enterprise is our artistic engine that

If you’re looking for branded mugs, keyrings or

designs and creates a wide range of products that

printed t-shirts to something more bespoke - get in

we use every day across all of our Centrestage

touch for more information.

activities from our #oneteam uniform, props for productions to various merchandise products that

we retail to support wider charity activity. Enterprise is not only the creation station, but an essential



of of

the our

wider Catalyst

training and



participants with many of them actively getting involved in various stages of the manufacturing process, these essential skills support personal development




mindsets with many sharing ideas of their own

business aspirations. We very much champion environmental care and we strive to ensure sourcing is from ethically responsible organisations - doing our bit for the planet. Page 36. | Your Centrestage

Centrestage Enterprise | we can make it!

#artsattheheart #funfoodfolk

At Centrestage Enterprise we love to create! Not just staff uniform and t-shirts for customers, but costumes and props for shows, bags, badges and mugs for our ever expanding Centrestage communities! We also accept orders from outwith Centrestage offering competitive prices for personalised mugs and t-shirts.

Enquiries to 01563 551505 ext 219 | 07902566827

Your Centrestage | 37.


We are delighted to partner with ‘WorkingRite’ who

They just need someone to give them that crucial first

support 16-24 year olds across Scotland with paid

chance and some support to get them used to

work experience and employment opportunities. The

working life.

initiative is funded by the Hunter Foundation and the project combines the knowledge and experience of both organisations to create a unique, holistic

employability support service to young people aged 16-24 years. Paul

the-job, one-to-one. Their aim is to get young people








apprenticeships or college places, securing a better future for them and making them feel part (and






Employability Coordinator based at Centrestage and is keen to meet with and help more young people in

need of support into the working environment. Paul works with the young folks, delivering tailored induction sessions to get them ready for a work placement.

The WorkingRite programme is all about learning on-






matched to a local business like yours for work placements of up to 12 weeks. Many youngsters can find it difficult to get their foot in the door – either through lack of experience, poor school grades, or general obstacles in life.

Page 38. | Your Centrestage

proud) of their community. Paul is not only keen to support young people, but also the business community who would be able to support a young person with work experience or employment. If you would like to know more and arrange a meeting with Paul, please email or call 07741903668 You can also find out more about WorkingRite online;

Centrestage hosts

‘THE BIG SCOTTISH BREAKFAST’ On Friday 6th September, the Centrestage Café/ Bar took part in the nationwide ‘Big Scottish Breakfast’ in aid of our friends at the STV Children’s Appeal. We joined many others from across Scotland, getting together for a fun breakfast to raise money for Scotland’s children.

With breakfast being the most important meal of the day, our menu was packed full, from continental to a tasty Scottish fry-up, we had something for everyone to get set up for the day ahead. It was lovely to welcome so many folks from across our activities and communities

on the day and a massive thanks to our wonderful #oneteam who made it all possible, raising a total of £293.55 for the STV Children’s Appeal. Since launching in 2011 the STV Children's Appeal has

raised over £19 million, with 1102 grants awarded to projects across all 32 local authority areas in Scotland providing much needed support to over 79,000 children and young people. The money raised is distributed to provide practical help like food and warm clothes, create

opportunities for training and employability, and enable social and emotional support for those who need it most. Our Food Operations Manager, Gillian Reid said, ”It was so special to be part of the ‘Big Scottish Breakfast’ helping raise funds for the STV Children’s Appeal. Our team provided such a great experience for everyone that joined us throughout the morning, bring on the next one!”

Page 39. | Your Centrestage

JAPANESE SOUFFLE PANCAKES MAKES 10-12 INGREDIENTS 185g plain flour 3tbsps icing sugar 2tsps baking powder

Lightly grease your casserole pan with butter and oil and place 3-4 deep metal (well greased) rings in it. Place the heat on low and fill each one about a half full with batter. If you don't have rings, you can pipe the batter in layers of circles to about 6cm high. Place the lid on the pan and cook on low for 10 minutes. Now's the tricky part. Wiggle a fish slice under each

270ml milk

pancake to loosen from the pan, place another fish slice on

2tbsps melted butter

top and carefully flip over (still inside the rings). Put the lid

2 large egg yolks

back on and cook for another five minutes. Run a knife around the edge of each pancake and pop onto your

3 large egg whites

serving plate.

Butter/oil to cook

They'll keep warm, covered in an oven quite nicely if you want to finish the batch and serve them up at the same

You will need some metal crumpet rings or presentation

time to everyone.

rings - about 8-10cm deep - and a heavy-based casserole

They work well as a sweet dish with cream, fruit, ice-cream,

type pan with a lid, suitable for cooking on the hob


etc - or as a savoury choice with bacon, poached eggs and

a warm hollandaise.

Combine the flour, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the milk, melted butter and egg yolks. Whisk with an electric beater until smooth. In a separate, clean bowl and with clean beaters, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Beat a quarter of the egg whites into the pancake batter to loosen, then carefully fold in the rest of the egg whites so no lumps remain.

Page 40. | Your Centrestage


EXPERIENCE CENTRESTAGE At Centrestage we want as many people as possible to enjoy our productions within the Centrestage Theatre in James Little Street, Kilmarnock. Across






programme is packed full of shows and events with something for everyone to enjoy. With so much to look forward to, keep a look out for your chance to win tickets!

So, for your chance to #experiencecentrestage, keep an eye on our Facebook page on the week of a Centrestage production and, on the Friday, our #experiencecentrestage post will

Winner of ‘Actors Fringe’ tickets: Phyllis Moore and son Phillip

give you the chance to win two free tickets to the Saturday show. Simply like the Centrestage Facebook page, comment and tag who you’d like to join you for the show and share the post with your network.

The winner will be announced on Saturday at noon. Pictured are some of our previous #experiencecentrestage winners…

Winner of ‘One Night Only’ tickets: Daniel Benson Page 41. | Your Centrestage

Your Centrestage | 43.

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Your Centrestage Winter 2019  

Your Centrestage Winter 2019