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Engross News Archive

From November 2013 back to August 2009



After hearing about our most recent funding award from Awards For All, Christine Grahame MSP, invited us to meet her at The Scottish Parliament, as she wanted to find out more about our work. After watching film clips of our plays, she was very impressed, and as an ex-teacher, she could fully appreciate the immense benefits of our work to pupils with learning disabilities. She is also totally convinced that there is a place for our work for children within additional support needs within mainstream schools. She therefore has written to the Directors of Education in both Midlothian and Borders council to highlight our work to them, adding that the reactions of the children are testimony to the success and value of these short plays.

 Also this month, we feel pleased and proud to be invited to a Parliamentary Debate and Reception, to be held at The Scottish Parliament on 3rd December. Hosted by Christine Grahame, this Member's Business debate will be on the work of Development Trusts. The reception afterwards, is to facilitate an exchange of ideas and experiences between guests on the role of Development Trusts, accessing funding, and to thank all charities etc. invited for all the work they do.


We are delighted to report that our latest tour of our September P.S.E. trilogy tour funded by The Bank Of Scotland Foundation, was once again very successful! Included in the quotes from the pupils were, “When is the fourth play in the trilogy?!!”, “Awesome”, and “Very Funny!” “Please come back!” And even those who were non-verbal showed their appreciation through laughing, clapping! Very rewarding as always.

Also, Pinewood Special School invited us to their 40th birthday concert – the pupils were amazing! They were tap- dancing, cheer-leading, singing, and they even had a news-desk! It was wonderful and truly uplifting. Then a few days later our co-founder Robert Moore sang and played guitar for their birthday celebrations – it was wonderful! The pupils were dancing, singing, clapping and cheering, but most of all they loved when 'Elvis' made an appearance! Another happy, rewarding day!


We are busy touring our P.S.E. trilogy again! This has been funded with our second successful application to Bank Of Scotland Foundation. This time we are touring to two schools in Dunfermline and one in East Kilbride.


We are delighted to announce that we have been successful in our next funding application to Awards For All!!!

We will be creating another trilogy of plays, called, "We Know Our rights!" covering Children's Rights as defined by UNICEF. This will support the special schools in attaining their Rights Respecting School Award which is awarded through UNICEF.

This funding will allow us to write, develop and perform the trilogy!

Work will commence on this immediately after our next tour.


14th June, 2013
The dates for our next P.S.E. trilogy tour in September are now fully confirmed!! We shall be going to schools in Fife and South Lanarkshire. Exciting!!


21st April, 2013
We are very pleased to announce that Engross Theatre has been invited, for the second time, to the Bank Of Scotland Foundation's "Annual Reception" at The Scottish Parliament on the 28th May!


4th March, 2013
Engross Theatre is delighted to announce that it has received further funding from The Bank Of Scotland Foundation!! This will allow us to perform our trilogy of plays tackling Personal and Social Education in THREE more Special Schools - free of charge!!

We are therefore trying to source three more Special Schools in Fife, Borders, Glasgow, or South Lanarkshire!! Special Schools outside of those regions may incur a small charge for travelling expenses.

If you would like Engross Theatre to perform its P.S.E. trilogy at YOUR Special School, please contact Yvonne Moore, Artistic Director, on 01968 673025, or e-mail her at enquiries@engrosstheatre.org.uk

Look forward to hearing from you!!


20th November, 2012
On Saturday, 17th November, our good friends at Demon Dance Co – see www.demondance.co.uk, held their fourth dance event in aid of charity, called Jive Aid 4. We are absolutely delighted that this year they chose Engross Theatre to support! It was held at the fabulous Glen Pavilion in Dunfermline, where great music, dancing and raffle prizes, (with a fun dance class added in!) made it a night to remember! But the most amazing part was the total amount raised – wait for it - £2,000!!! WOW! This includes a generous donation by our chairman, and one of our writers. Also there, was Aleks Diamante at Madebyaleks with her beautiful jewellery – Aleks also made a donation. HUGE thanks must go to everyone involved in making this event such a huge success – we feel truly overwhelmed.


22nd October, 2012
Today was another exciting day for Engross! We received more of our feedback forms relating to our recent tour of our P.S.E. trilogy of plays. The comments, again, were outstanding, and extremely positive, which is further proof of how successful our form of theatre is! To view these comments, please peruse our “Testimonials” page.

12th October, 2012
Engross Theatre has just finished another three-week tour of our P.S.E. trilogy, and we are absolutely delighted to say it was another resounding success! We were overwhelmed by the positive feedback, and by watching the pupils' delighted faces, as they enjoyed our actors’ hilarious antics! Included in our audiences during this tour, were pupils ranging from Nursery and Primary, through to Secondary pupils with complex needs. It is hugely emotional and immensely rewarding to to know that our work meets the needs of such a wide range of ages and disabilities.


Engross Theatre are touring their P.S.E. Trilogy around three more schools in Edinburgh and The Lothians! More updates soon!


20th September, 2012
Today Kaimes Special School hosted a special meeting for Engross Theatre, to discuss which subjects the schools would like us to cover next. This was very well attended by Heads and Deputy Heads, Principal teachers, and other staff, from Special Schools throughout The Lothians, clearly illustrating the strong level of support we have gained. They were also very interested to hear about our endorsement by Education Scotland! Knowing how exceptionally busy teachers are, we are extremely grateful to all those who attended. A very satisfying day!

17th September, 2012
Today was a REALLY exciting day for Engross Theatre!! We were invited through to Education Scotland's office in Glasgow, because they are really keen to promote our work by having a "A Glow Meet" which is a live web conference incorporating interactive video and audio. This will be broadcast live to Schools throughout the whole of Scotland!! It is also recorded, which allows for opportunities to review at a later date, or to enable colleagues to pass on information. This is a huge endorsement of our work, and a very exciting development for Engross!! They showed us their recording studio facility, where we will go out live in November!!


15th July, 2012
We are delighted to announce that our friends at Demon Dance Co., who hold an annual charity event, have decided this year’s nominated charity will be Engross Theatre!!! This dance event will be on Sat 14th November at The Glen Pavilion in Dunfermline.
Guest DJs, Charity raffle, Licensed Bar
Advance tickets £12 - on the door £15
Tickets will go on sale on line soon at www.dancedemon.co.uk

3rd July, 2012
Engross Theatre had a lovely afternoon at The Royal Garden Party at the Palace Of Holyroodhouse. We saw The Queen, had delicious sandwiches and cakes, and even had an interesting chat with the First Minister Alex Salmond!

1st July, 2012
We were really overwhelmed to receive a donation of £100 for Engross Theatre today! Thank you so much, Alice and Peter Richmond, for this generous donation!


25th June, 2012
It's the end of term now folks, so no performances in schools till after the summer holidays. This means there may not be any Engross News until then, but we shall still be busy 'behind the scenes' preparing for our next performances, and catching up with admin.

Also keep a close eye on our website! Our skilled web designer, LCHQ Web Design, is going to make some exciting changes to our site, including adding a Gallery!

Meanwhile in August, we’re going to have a film night, so that our talented actors can see themselves in action!

24th June, 2012
We feel very overwhelmed and emotional to have received this heartfelt and supportive statement from one of our actors, Pab Roberts, who plays Gongo. the alien in our PSE trilogy. Thank you Pab, this will be very useful to include in our funding applications. Please click here to read Pab's comments.

21st June, 2012
We had meetings at two new Special Schools this week, and they booked us on the spot! Our reputation must have preceded us! So with our Robertson Trust funding, we are performing our P.S.E. trilogy THREE more times, at Redhall Special School, Ross High school (complex needs unit) in Tranent - and at Braidburn Special School, who were so impressed with our trilogy, they have booked us again, this time for their Primary section! So all dates for performances have already been set for end Sept/Oct - exciting times!!

4th June, 2012
An excellent end to this tour of our P.S.E. plays today, when we performed Happy Birthday Gongo! at Kaimes school - what a welcome, what a response - totally uplifting! And the other good news is that we have received funding from The Robertson Trust, which means we can perform our P.S.E. Trilogy in another THREE schools starting in September!

1st June, 2012
Another incredibly rewarding day - this time at Braidburn Special School, where we performed Happy Birthday Gongo! The Head-Teacher and Deputy HT were SO full of praise of our work! They said many of their pupils who can find it difficult to be engaged in ANYTHING, were TOTALLY engaged throughout!! The actors were just wonderful, tailoring their performances beautifully for their pupils' significant needs. The DHT said she has told other Special Schools all about how wonderful we are.


30th May, 2012 We received a lovely e-mail from our contact teacher at Pilrig Park re. our performance of Happy Birthday Gongo! Here is an excerpt:

It was very funny and covered many of the manner points that we try to instill. I could tell by the audience reaction that they were enjoying it very much. It was great how involved and attentive certain more "challenging members of our community" were. Another huge success for Engross!

29th May, 2012
LOVED our visit to Pilrig Park today - from the moment we all walked in to set up, the welcome from both pupils and staff was just wonderful. An audience of 80 pupils, who all absolutely loved Happy Birthday Gongo! - what a reaction!!! Again, outstanding performances, and perfect comic timing, from our fab actors, ensured the audience were totally engaged throughout, allowing them to fully absorb the learning points. It is always so fantastic to see the kids’ reaction and the sheer delight on their faces!

28th May, 2012
WOW! What an amazing response from the pupils at Pinewood Special School today to Happy Birthday Gongo!, the final play in our P.S.E. trilogy. They loved all the humour and antics, with our Learning Points "Rap" being especially effective! Our talented actors, Pab Roberts, Rhys Teare-Williams, and Des O'Gorman did an amazing job, totally engaging the pupils - who were reluctant to leave at the end!

11th May, 2012
What a lovely warm welcome from Braidburn Special School this morning! The pupils loved all the humour and daft comedy, whilst really understanding the messages conveyed. A fantastic end to this tour of the second play in our P.S.E. trilogy.

10th May, 2012
This is what Caroline Dunford, author of Gongo Says - "Be Nice!" had to say about today's performance at Kaimes Special School, "Wonderful production of 'Be Nice' by Engross. Direction was spot on and the actors comic timing was exceptional, but on top of that the kids seemed to really get the message about bullying. Extremely proud and pleased to be part of the fantastic Engross team on these P.S.E. plays." Another hugely satisfying day.

9th May, 2012
What a fantastic reaction from the lovely pupils at Pinewood Special School today to Gongo Says - "Be Nice!" - the second in our P.S.E. trilogy. Our actors, Pab Roberts, Steven Hogan and Des O'Gorman were their usual brilliant selves, and the pupils warmed to them completely, and loved having a chat with them, in character, afterwards.


20th April, 2012
Engross Theatre feel so emotional...... The response from pupils at Braidburn Special School was fantastic today! They have complex physical and cognitive needs, but the immediate feedback from Head-Teacher, Deputy Head-Teacher and other staff was overwhelmingly positive!! One said we should go back every week! Wish we could! This was our first time there, performing Gongo Visits Planet Earth by Anita Gallo, and they can't wait for us to return with the next two plays in the trilogy!! Incredibly rewarding as usual!

18th April, 2012
We received this lovely e-mail from our contact teacher at Pilrig Park which illustrates how successful our work is:-

"Another great show. Thought the actors were terrific. Liked the clever use of the screen in the 'chase' scenes. The script was excellent. Thanks for the photos. We have been looking at my ones with the classes. Feedback from pupils was very positive and they have grasped the learning points."

17th April, 2012
WOW! What an outstanding reaction from the pupils at today's performance of Gongo says - Be Nice at Pilrig Park!! They were in stitches at "Gongo", "Ben", and "Dexter's" hilarious antics! But they were also very quietly attentive during the play's quieter moments, absorbing the important learning points. We are on a high - another incredibly rewarding day.


13th March, 2012
The nine dates for performing the remainder of our P.S.E.(Personal And Social Education) trilogy, which is touring to four schools between now and June, have now been finalised! Can't wait to re-commence rehearsals in April!

12th March, 2012
SO chuffed to received this lovely e-mail from our contact teacher at Pilrig Park, re. Engross Theatre's 'entry' to another lovely special school: "The head there sounds like a real convert to Engross’ cause. Quite right too! That’s a really good list of schools that you now have a contact for. Well done ..... you both deserve it so much for everything you offer all our pupils and staff.". Just lovely.

7th March, 2012
We are excited to tell you we now have the talented Steven McIntyre on board!! This was the most difficult casting choice we've ever had - the talent was amazing!! Steven will now be playing "Ben" in our P.S.E.(Personal And Social Education) trilogy. Well done Steven!!


26th February, 2012
Outstanding talent displayed at Engross Theatre's auditions today - difficult choices ahead - and still another day to go! Meanwhile, we wish Philip huge amounts of success with his own company – Peapod Productions.


23rd January, 2012
Congratulations to Des O'Gorman who has been cast in the role of 'Grant' in Gongo says - Be Nice!, by Caroline Dunford, (the second in our trilogy of plays tackling Personal and Social Education). We were sorry to lose Bill Addison (due to other commitments) who was originally cast in this role, but are very excited to have Des on board! Thanks must go to all the very talented actors who took the time to attend our auditions.

17th January, 2012
Another hugely successful morning performing Gongo Visits planet Earth by Anita Gallo - this time at Kaimes Special School. What a reaction! The audience were very excited, lively and responsive - they (and we!) had a ball!

16th January, 2012
What a fantastic morning! Much praise must go to Pab Roberts and Philip Kingscott in Gongo visits Planet Earth who adapted their performances beautifully, and so intelligently, to suit the more complex needs of pupils at St Crispin’s Special School.


10th November, 2011
Another FANTASTIC morning at Pilrig Park Special School! It was incredibly uplifting watching the pupils' response to Mark and the Vikings - they were so totally engrossed! They loved the characters of Mark (Keith McLeish) and Mum (Rachel Amey) and very enthusiastically participated in the actions and the song! Another successful post-play work-shop was delivered by Ruth Bordoli and Catherine Knopps of Archaeology Scotland - proof once more of our very successful collaboration!


12th October, 2011
Engross Theatre is delighted to be featured in the Midlothian Advertiser for the third time! This article includes a photo taken with our presentation cheque for £4829 from Bank Of Scotland Foundation! This grant will fund six more performances, which means we will be able to perform our trilogy of plays, covering Personal And Social Education, twice more!! It also provides a small contribution towards the running costs of Engross, which is hugely helpful. Please click here to read the article.


13th September, 2011
We heard today we have been successful in our Bank Of Scotland Foundation application! This will fund about eight more performances – we are absolutely delighted!!

8th September, 2011
WOW! What a fantastic reaction from pupils at Pilrig Park Special School today!!!! Gongo Visits Planet Earth was a huge hit again!! The actors, Pab and Philip were brilliant, meaning the pupils were totally engrossed! And a special announcement was made by the head-teacher - sorry, we can't let the cat out of the bag yet - but it was very exciting!

6th September, 2011
Gongo Visits Planet Earth by the talented Anita Gallo, had its first outing today at Pinewood Special School in Blackburn - oh it was so brilliant to see the kids' reaction - they were totally engaged - incredibly rewarding. They totally warmed to Gongo and Ben's characters, played so well by Pab Roberts and Philip Kingscott. Afterwards, both actors, were so lovely with the pupils. Roll on Thursday's performance at Pilrig Park!


19th August, 2011
Engross Theatre had such fun today when we commenced rehearsals for Gongo Visits Planet Earth, by Anita Gallo, the first in our trilogy of plays for our "Supporting Personal & Social Education in Special Schools" project. With amazing spine-tingling sound-effects designed by Paul Binning, Ailsa Rendell’s outstanding Alien costume, and our fantastic team of actors and directors, this play is already hilarious! We are so looking forward to continuing rehearsals, prior to performing it on 6th and 8th Sept – the pupils are going to have such fun!


7th July, 2011
We were so impressed with Philip Kingscott's, Pab Roberts's and Bill Addison's hilarious and intelligent interpretation of our PSE scripts, at our script development readings, we have immediately cast them in our next two plays! These excellent and funny scripts were written by Anita Gallo and Caroline Dunford, for our "Supporting Personal And Social Education in Special Schools" project. We are really looking forward to producing them!


20th June, 2011
We are extremely pleased to report that we have been successful in our next Awards For All funding application! This allows us to develop and perform plays tackling Personal and Social Education subjects! Two superb plays have already been submitted by Caroline Dunford and Anita Gallo, tackling Bullying and Social Skills, with a third in discussion. Can't wait to get started!


17th May, 2011
We are thrilled to have received an appreciative e-mail today from Life-Care Day-Care Centre, about last week's performance of Hilda and The Home Front - quote: "I just wanted to say a huge thank you for the play last week, the clients thoroughly enjoyed it, in fact they were still raving about it today! I thought you were all superb! So thank you so much again it was much appreciated." Lovely....

12th May, 2011
Engross Theatre performed Hilda and The Home Front at the Life-Care Day-care Centre at Stockbridge House in Edinburgh today. After tailoring it slightly to suit an older audience, it was highly rewarding to see their appreciative reaction, particularly to the singing, dancing and music - it certainly seemed to bring back many memories......... Many thanks to the Living Memory Association, who sought funding specially for us to perform there!


18th April, 2011
Engross Theatre is extremely pleased to be one of 41 groups to have received a Comic Relief grant for £1,000 through The Edinburgh Evening News – this is run by Red Nose Day Community Grants scheme. We are also very pleased to be one of the groups to have received a special mention in the article! Please click on following link to read article: Edinburgh Evening News

14th April, 2011
Engross Theatre is absolutely delighted to announce that today we received our official confirmation from O.S.C.R. (Office of The Scottish Charity Regulator) that we are now a registered charity! ( see bottom of page for our charity number). This is superb news as it allows us access to a much wider selection of potential funders. We are so looking forward to being able to support more Special Schools/pupils with their education.


Unfortunately this month’s production of Hilda and The Home Front had to be postponed as one of our actresses broke her toe, poor thing. However, we are looking forward to performing it in May instead! Meanwhile we wish our actress a speedy recovery.


26th February, 2011
Engross Theatre is overwhelmed to have received a wonderful thank-you card today from Pilrig Park Special School re. Mark And The Romans. Quote from card: "What a triumph of a play and a day! We were all delighted at the whole thing. Ellen (head-teacher) gave the whole experience a super ovation at our assembly – you have a huge fan there – as did the rest of the staff. You can tell by the kids reaction how much they loved it. I have enclosed a cheque as a donation for Engross Theatre. It is from our staff Christmas card collection. The English teacher said right away on Thursday that you should get this as a nice gesture of appreciation for all you do for the school – all the rest of the staff agreed."

24th February, 2011
Engross Theatre were totally uplifted by the pupils’ response to Mark And The Romans today at Pilrig Park Special School. The feedback from the teachers included, "This is what teaching should be" (Head Teacher). Pilrig Park also informed us that they now regard Engross Theatre as part of their school community, with our vital contribution to their work towards The Curriculum For Excellence.

23rd February, 2011
Engross Theatre performed Mark And The Romans at Pinewood Special School. We found it hugely satisfying that the pupils, who, at ten years old, and much younger than our usual audience, were totally engaged throughout, fully participating in the interactive pieces within the play. Once again, the pupils had an exciting time during Archaeology Scotland's excellent post-show workshop.

16th February, 2011
Engross Theatre are extremely pleased that our friends at The Living Memory Association sought funding specifically to fund one of our plays! So we are taking Hilda and The Home Front to one of the day-care centres they regularly work with at the end of March!

14th February, 2011
Engross Theatre feel very proud that Mark and The Romans has been so successful that Pilrig Park Special School have requested it a second time, for a class who missed out first time round! And the following day we are taking it to Pinewood Special School! Ruth from Archaeology Scotland, will again deliver her excellent work-shops after both performances. These will take place on 23rd and 24th Feb.


21st January, 2011
Engross Theatre are over the moon after receiving our most recent feedback forms re. Hilda! Comments include: "Engross absolutely deliver every time!"; "The acting was of a very high standard"; "Spot-on!"; "The pupils were very taken by the costumes" (thanks to Ailsa Rendell, our amazing costume designer!) Makes all the hard work so worthwhile and rewarding. Please see our Testimonials page for more comments.

13th January, 2011
Quote from a pupil after today's performance of WW2 play at Pinewood Special School, after she asked if we had filmed our play, "Well, I'm very glad you did, because I never want to forget this day". Incredibly rewarding. The staff were highly complimentary and commented on how they had never witnessed the pupils being so attentive for a whole hour. SO rewarding- good times - great team.

11th January, 2011
We are deeply satisfied with our first outing of Hilda and the Home Front at Pilrig Park Special School - it went incredibly well! The pupils were totally captivated throughout, even during the more poignant moments, which were scattered between all the fun and laughter. Our excellent cast: Leonna McGilligan, Debs Young and Nicola Robinson. Thanks must also go to Ruth Bordoli (Archaeology Scotland) for delivering another excellent post-show workshop, during which the pupils were totally absorbed.


10th December, 2010
Engross Theatre had a very positive meeting today with Diana Morton, Learning and Access Curator with Museums of Scotland! We agreed that working together would be mutually beneficial - exciting prospects for the future!

6th December, 2010
Due to horrific weather conditions due to heavy snowfall, we had to take the disappointing and frustrating decision to cancel our performances of Hilda and The Home Front. But with actors travelling from Glasgow and Fife, safety became our biggest concern. These performances have been re-scheduled for January - it will be great for the kids (and us!) to have something to look forward to after Christmas!


Engross Theatre continued to be busy with rehearsals for Hilda And The Home Front. This play includes singing, dancing ,comedy and audience interaction, but of course, is tinged with poignant moments of fear and sadness. We are so looking forward to our performances in December at Pinewood and Pilrig Park Special Schools.

10th November, 2010
At an extremely informative meeting at Pilrig Park Special School, we were very excited to have started the ball rolling in using theatre to develop pupils' Personal and Social Development skills. Huge thanks must go to skilled writers, Caroline Dunford and Anita Gallo whose input was invaluable.....and who are now eager to start writing for this subject!


26th October, 2010
Our rehearsals began for our next play - Hilda And The Home Front, in preparation for their performances in December.

25th October, 2010
We were delighted that Ruth Bordoli from Archaeology Scotland wrote the following:
"The kids were definitely more engaged with the (Archaeology Scotland work-shop) activities after watching your play! It was interesting for me to see the difference made by repeating the same concepts! I had a great time too - such lovely pupils - I thought the performance was brilliant! I can't believe how much atmosphere you created in such a small space!" After thoroughly enjoying working with us for Mark and The Romans, Ruth has offered to deliver further post-show work-shops for our next play - Hilda and The Home Front!!

23rd October, 2010
We received the most amazing thank you letters from the pupils at Pilrig Park re. our Roman visit. Also included were their drawings of scenes from Mark and The Romans - which are such accurate portrayals, they clearly reflect the positive impact the play had. We have also received feedback forms from both Pilrig Park and St.Crispin's schools which are so very positive and complimentary.

22nd October, 2010
We had a very successful session with Paul Binning, our sound designer, during which he created spine-chillingly effective sound effects for our WW2 play, Hilda And The Home Front. Paul is a tremendous addition to the Engross Theatre team.

7th October, 2010
Another great success today for Mark and the Romans!! This time we were at St.Crispin's Special School where the actors tailored their performance beautifully to accommodate the more complex needs of these pupils, who were fully engaged throughout the performance. Many thanks to all involved, including Ruth Bordoli from Archaeology Scotland, whose post-show workshop, again, was a great success!!

5th October, 2010
What a success Mark and the Romans was at Pilrig Park! The pupils had a ball - totally 'drawn in' by the incredible rapport and warmth shown by our fab actors, Keith McLeish and Rachel Amey. Afterwards Ruth Bordoli, from Archaeology Scotland, led a fantastic workshop, where the pupils made their own Roman Lamps and drew Roman numerals on wax tablets. Roll on Thursday's performance at St. Crispin's!!

4th October, 2010
We had a very successful meeting with the Headteacher at Pinewood Special School in West Lothian today! She is really looking forward to us taking our WW2 play there in November!


23rd September, 2010
We held a script development reading of Carolyn Lincoln's Hilda and the Home Front. Through the superb acting skills of Leonna McGilligan, Deborah Young and Nicola Robinson, the characters immediately sprang to life! This play will be performed at the end of November/beginning of December.

13th September, 2010
We started our rehearsals for Mark and the Romans - with Rachel Amey and Keith McLeish adding their own unique magic touch, ensuring great fun in rehearsals!

7th September, 2010
After a successful meeting with St. Crispin's Special School, they immediately arranged a date for us to perform Mark and the Romans there!

6th September, 2010
We are very lucky to have Paul Binning on board - Paul, who is a sound engineer/musician; tutors music technology at Jewel & Esk College in Edinburgh; and works regularly with Drake Music Scotland, composed the most amazing time-travelling sound effect for Mark and the Romans.

4th September, 2010
We started off a very busy month by hosting Engross’s birthday party! A hugely enjoyable day - actors, directors, writers and friends all joined us in the garden where we soaked up the last of the summer sun, sipping wine, to toast a very successful first year!


We are extremely pleased to announce that after a very successful meeting with Ruth Bordoli from Archaeology Scotland, Engross Theatre and our next play, Mark and The Romans will be featured as part of Archaeology Scotland's "Scottish Archaeology Month"! After each performance, Archaeology Scotland will be delivering a very exciting workshop, during which the pupils will make their own wax tablets, Roman lamps, and have a chance to handle some genuine Roman artefacts. We are really looking forward to starting rehearsals in September!


17th July, 2010
Engross Theatre is delighted to report that it has been successful in its small grant application to Radio Forth 'Cash For Kids'! This allows us to purchase sound equipment, greatly enhancing our sound effects! Engross Theatre would like to thank all those concerned at Radio Forth, particularly the listeners for their generosity!

1st July, 2010
Scottish schools are on their long summer break! Although this means there will be no plays performed this month, there will be plenty going on behind the scenes! We shall be continuing with our funding applications and general admin, and hopefully be hosting a party to celebrate our successful first year!


25th June, 2010
As can be seen below, in order to show their appreciation of all our work with them, Pilrig Park School gave Engross Theatre complimentary tickets to see Stimuli - their pupils' dance show at The Festival Theatre in Edinburgh. We were overwhelmed by this gesture, then utterly moved to see their show, which was outstanding! Engross Theatre were indeed very privileged to see this brilliant and unique show and are very grateful to Pilrig Park.

8th June, 2010
Engross Theatre Group are absolutely delighted to welcome Anita Gallo and Caroline Dunford to our team of writers! Both are very experienced, talented writers and we are really looking forward to working with them! Please click on their names to view their websites.


w/c 17th May, 2010
We had much fun and laughter rehearsing for Fiona The Victorian, in preparation for its performances at Pilrig Park and Woodlands Special Schools respectively, on 24th and 25th May.

24th May, 2010
This happy atmosphere continued at Pilrig Park, where the classroom was packed with pupils who all had a ball! This was definitely learning through fun, illustrated by the many hands which shot up in eagerness to answer the post-show questions! The school was so appreciative of all our work with them, they gave us complimentary tickets to Stimuli – their pupils’ dance show at The Festival Theatre – lovely.

25th May, 2010
Onto Woodlands School where the audience, totally engrossed, also loved the play! A much quieter audience, who fully appreciated their first live drama show. We were overwhelmed when we received hand-written thank-you letters from the pupils,(displaying their very best writing!), in which they wrote about their 'fave' bits of the play, and how they wanted us to return very soon!

30th May, 2010
We had only just recovered from this lovely gesture, when we then received more fantastic drawings and letters from the pupils at Pilrig Park, to thank us for our visit. Another incredible gift to cherish.

After each performance the pupils loved raking through the Victorian 'School and Schooldays' box, and were very relieved to be living nowadays without the threat of ‘The Tawse’ (belt) from the teacher! To illustrate the difference between leisure activities in Victorian times and now, we also had great fun playing cards!

We are grateful to The Museum of Childhood for lending us the Victorian School and Schooldays 'box’. And to Ailsa Rendell, our costume designer, for making such authentic period costumes on a small budget! In fact thanks to all involved for making this such a happy, successful time.


We had a such a successful meeting at Woodlands Special School, that they immediately arranged a date for us to take Fiona The Victorian to them! This will take place the day after we perform it at Pilrig Park Special School this month.

21st April, 2010
Another article about Engross's "Awards For All" success was published in Edinburgh's Herald & Post, including a photo of Engross founders Yvonne & Bobby Moore, with Yvonne's son Doug Briglmen(who is autistic). Please click here to read the article online (Engross are on page 12).

26th April, 2010
But the highlight of the month was definitely our performance of Wayne and Wallace at Pilrig Park - this was performed for the whole school. It was incredibly rewarding watching the pupils, totally engrossed, laughing all the way through - definitely learning through fun! Proof of this success was confirmed when we received our completed Evaluation forms - the comments were outstanding! To read the superb comments made by the teachers, please see our Testimonials page.

Thanks must go our whole team for this success, but especially to Deborah Young who did a magnificent job, stepping into the female rôles at the last minute, due to Wendy Crosby's dose of 'flu. We were sorry Wendy was ill, but are very proud to have such a fantastic pool of actors to dip into, for occasions such as this.

17th April, 2010
We are very pleased to have had another article published in the Midlothian Advertiser! The second article in the space of six months! To read the article please click here.

16th April, 2010
Really looking forward to our next performance of Wayne and Wallace at Pilrig Park Special School later this month!

Meanwhile rehearsals are going brilliantly for Fiona The Victorian - a superb cast!


30th March, 2010
We performed Wayne and Wallace at Saltersgate Special School. The actors immediately gauged the needs of this particular audience and tailored their performance perfectly - the pupils had a ball! They particularly enjoyed the audience participation - as one teacher put it, "....really enjoyed it and the kids certainly did. Makes history lessons so much fun!"

Personal and Social Development is high on the agenda in Special Schools so, in order to accommodate this we have an anti-bullying play in development. This will include our usual style of humour and even audience participation!

20th March, 2010
We had only just recovered from the excitement of receiving MSP Jeremy Purvis's letter of congratulations, when we received another supportive letter - this time from David Hamilton MP! Very exciting! Please click here to read it.

15th March, 2010
This was a very exciting day for Engross!

Firstly we received a call from Janet Bee from Midlothian Advertiser, who, having heard about our Awards for All success, wished to write another article about us! Then we received a lovely letter from Jeremy Purvis MSP, congratulating us on our Award! Please click here to read it.

6th March, 2010
We were very excited to receive requests from Special Schools for three of our plays! We immediately arranged meeting with the teachers to discuss dates, etc.

Hard on the heels of last month's auditions, and even before our plays were fully cast, we received a request from Saltersgate Special School to perform Wayne and Wallace for their Scottish-themed week at the end of March! So we immediately began rehearsals!

February 2010

What an exciting month February was for Engross! A huge thanks to all the actors who came to audition for our three new plays! Lots of fun, lots of laughter, lots of talent - great entertainment! This made our final decisions very difficult! We could have cast our plays three times over! However we are now proud to announce our new cast - click here!

January 2010

January was a very busy month for Engross! We advertised for a costume and technical person and were very pleased to welcome Ailsa Rendell and Amy Cummings respectively to our team - two very talented ladies! We look forward to working with them!

We also held script development readings for Wayne and Wallace by Carolyn Lincoln, Fiona The Victorian by Nick Cheales, and Mark and The Romans, also by Nick Cheales. If you are a Facebook member, join us, and check out our photos!

The plays are now ready to be cast and to that effect, we have organised Auditions (see Current Activities above).

December 2009

Our funding application to Awards For All was successful, allowing us to develop four more curriculum-based plays with ten performances! We can't wait to get started, especially as two magnificent scripts have already been submitted for this purpose by Carolyn Lincoln and Nick Cheales!

We were also successful in our application to Midlothian Council for a small grant for start-up costs!

Also we hosted a script development evening for a superb Pantomime written by Nick Cheales. We thoroughly enjoyed watching the talents of Caroline McKellar, Lynne McCallum Hall, Keith McLeish (and Bobby!), while the script was read then performed. This allowed us to observe where any necessary script adjustments had to be made.

November 2009

The first Engross Theatre Group Writers' Meetings were held on 2nd and 9th November, 2009. Attended by six playwrights, including two published novelists, the event taught the writers how to structure a play for an audience with learning disabilities, and provided them a list of subjects appropriate to the current curriculum.

October 2009

On 22nd October, 2009 Engross and their work were featured in the Midlothian Advertiser - click here to read the article.

August and September 2009

Funding has been our main priority, with applications being submitted to various organisations for specific activities.

We have also been making new contacts, with mainstream schools which have special needs units, and various outlets for adults with learning disabilities.

July 2009

Since the formation of Engross Theatre Group, we have done a great deal of work in getting the Company off the ground. We decided on a status of Voluntary Organisation for the present, and at our inaugural meeting on 21st July, 2009 we established our constitution and elected a committee.