Dreams Come True as Moat Brae Puts Young People at the Heart of Dumfries Festival

Louise Jones (pictured dressed as Peter Pan)

Young composer set for world premiere of his Peter Pan themed music while 12-year-old Louise gets set to become first tour guide

A girl whose “dream job” is to be the first tour guide at the Moat Brae National Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling will soon have her wish granted.

Dreams For The Future Festival

The world premiere will also be taking place of music by a young composer specially commissioned to create a work inspired by the story of Peter Pan.

Louise Jones, aged 12, from Dumfries and Patrick Dupuy, 24, originally from Kirkcudbright, are among the many children and young people at the heart of the Dreams for the Future Festival, taking place from 24 November to 2 December.

The festival is part of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 and is a pre-opening event for Moat Brae in Dumfries.

The Georgian house and gardens are where the teenage JM Barrie and his friends played the games that inspired Peter Pan. The property has been restored and is being fitted out ready to open next spring as the new National Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling.

Louise, who goes to St Joseph’s College, first saw inside Moat Brae when restoration work was getting underway and was inspired by the project and the Peter Pan story.

When pupils were asked to write about their dream job she said she wanted to be the first tour guide and to: “share my love of literature – and the wonderful legacy of JM Barrie here in Dumfries, with children of all ages from right across the world.”

As part of the Dreams for the Future FestivalLouise will be among the members of Moat Brae’s JMB Creatives group giving sneak previews of the house to members of the public during the Mutiny!event on 1 December.

She said: “It’s my dream come true to be the first tour guide at Moat Brae. I enjoy reading and books and my all-time favourite story is Peter Pan. I am really looking forward to showing people the house and telling them about what a brilliant place it will be for children and young people when it opens next year.”

Another festival highlight will be Staged on 24 November, an evening of performance in the company of Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust Patron Joanna Lumley, at Dumfries Academy where JM Barrie went to school (and set up the drama club that will be part of the event).

Staged! will include the first public performance of Peter Pan Moat Brae, composed by Patrick Dupuy and played by the Dumfries and Galloway Schools Ensemble, with an accompanying dance by members of Dumfries School of Dance.

Patrick Dupuy

Patrick, who was a student at Kirkcudbright Academy and created the music for the 2018 film version of An Inspector Calls, says the 12-minute piece gets back to the true spirit of Peter Pan.

He said: “Like a lot of people I had been brought up with the Disney version and was fascinated to get back to the original, which is so much deeper and darker.

“I’ve really tried to capture the essence of the characters – the warmth and love of the Darling family, the way that Tinker Bell is quite manipulative, and I have made Hook a slightly rakish and vampiric character. I’ve also tried to reflect what a weird and unsettling place Neverland is.”

Pupils from Dumfries Academy and members of the Theatre Royal’s Junior Guild are also making major contributions to the festival.

Simon Davidson, Moat Brae’s Centre Director, said:“One of the greatest aims of Moat Brae is to have children and young people at the heart of everything we do – and we are starting as we mean to go on with Dreams for the Future.

“The whole festival has been co-curated by members of our JMB Creatives group and many of the events and activities are being presented by children and young people.

“Louise and Patrick are brilliant examples of the way we want to make this a place that inspires the imagination and offers really exciting opportunities.”

Dreams for the Futureis supported by the Year of Young People 2018 event fund, managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

· To book for any of the Dreams for the Future events online go to http://www.dgboxoffice.co.uk or you can pop into the Midesteeple Box Office, and for further information see the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust website at https://www.peterpanmoatbrae.org.

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