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Alien invasion will target youngsters

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Alien invasion will target youngsters

ALIENS descend on the region next month, as a former Gretna resident returns with a show aimed at young audiences.

Former Annan Academy pupil Emma Jayne Park now runs Cultured Mongrel Dance Theatre, and is coming to the town with the show Experts in Short Trousers.
Thirty-one-year-old Emma, who is originally from Gretna, said: “I did a lot of research on work for young audiences with an organisation called Imaginate in Scotland.
“It was wanting to make work for five-year-olds, and being around a lot of five-year-olds who seemed to know a lot more about the world than adults.
“And so that is the premise of the work — that they’re experts in their world.”
She added: “It’s a celebration of the knowledge that they already have.”
The interactive show sees the children asked to help a group of crashlanded aliens discover the world around them and make music, and also to find each other in the different venues where the shows take place.
One production will be based in Annan Museum, bringing Emma back to the town where she went to school.
Emma said: “Being from here, I’ve been keen for a while to bring things down this way.”
After leaving Annan Academy, Emma first trained in Edinburgh and then New York.
She is artistic director with Cultured Mongrel Dance Theatre, who are touring Experts in Short Trousers across the region in October as part of the Arts Live and Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival Programme.
And she said: “This is part of an ongoing plan to connect with the region more in the hope of building a stronger structure for touring dance across the region.”
Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival are helping to promote the visit, with venues including The Buccleuch Centre in Langholm, Gracefield Arts Centre in Dumfries and Annan Museum.

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