About Cutting Edge Theatre

 

CUTTING EDGE THEATRE was formed in 1995 by Suzanne Lofthus with the aim of making a difference in people’s lives through Theatre. We are a diverse company working in many different areas. Over the years, we have been involved in a number of projects and productions, working mainly with people who are disadvantaged in some way. This has taken the company to many places both here in Scotland and overseas including Malawi, Zimbabwe, USA, Italy and Brazil. We have set up and run a number of youth theatre projects in Scotland as well as working in a number of prisons and communities.

The company produces both professional and community productions and was short-listed as one of the 2010 Guardian newspaper Charities of the Year.

Previous productions include:

“Downs with Love” premiered at Edinburgh Fringe 2016.

“Mary, the Last Farewell” – a new production about the life of Mary, Queen of Scots. Premiered in Edinburgh Fringe 2014.

“Glencoe Lament” about the Glencoe massacre.

“Dare2Hope” a new play dealing with the issue of suicide prevention amongst young men.

Tours of “Macbeth” and “Romeo and Juliet” round Scottish castles.

“A Scot’s Passion”, a new production which toured in 2000 which was a version of a passion play set against the backdrop of a middle east hostage situation.

From time to time we commission new projects and enjoy seeing them go on to enjoy success outwith the company.  Our work in Musical Theatre has also produced a number of new works including being the originating Producer of “Whisky Galore – a musical!” before it was picked up by Pitlochry Festival Theatre. Written by Ian Hammond Brown [http://ianhammondbrown.com/] and Shona McKee McNeil for the  Edinburgh Fringe, we were then delighted to see that production being picked up by Pitlochry  where it broke all box office records in their history.

The Company has a Christian ethos as a foundation and our work is varied.

We are also delighted to be one of the winners of The People’s Project Fund  2017 which will enable us to develop our work on the INSPIRE project.

Suzanne as a Freelance Director also specialises in producing and directing large scale open air productions both here and overseas. Work in Scotland includes the annual Easter Play in Edinburgh – http://www.easterplay.org

“We aspire to inspire!”

See Testimonials page for some quotes on our work.

OUR AIMS:

  1. Enable people through the INSPIRE project. Working with people of all ages who have learning difficulties/disabilities, helping them to discover their talents, learn new skills and gain confidence. Using drama techniques all designed to help specifically with confidence, self-esteem and vocal issues.
  2. Addressing contemporary issues facing young people through Drama eg suicide prevention and other relevant issues.
  3. Engaging with Communities,by encouraging adults and children alike to be part of a community play where the process of gaining self-confidence, learning new skills is as important as the play itself. We also work in prisons in the UK and overseas.
  4. Produce quality productions, working with emerging talent, often being a first step professional production for new graduates.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

DOUGLAS ROBERTS [CHAIR]

Douglas is a solicitor who specialises in corporate and sports law. He is actively involved in St Stephen’s Comely Bank Church in Edinburgh and enjoys keeping fit, watching football, rugby and pretty much any sport and travelling to new places

Douglas has been a supporter of Cutting Edge’s work for a number of years and been involved in a few of the projects in different capacities.

GEOFFREY BAINES

Geoffrey is a dreamwhisperer, the kind of dream people have when they’re wide awake.  His joy is listening to peoples’ talents, dreams, and experiences, helping them to hear what their lives are saying but they perhaps cannot hear, then walking with them as they develop these into their stories, the unfolding dramas of their lives.

Geoffrey finds himself working with individuals from all sorts of backgrounds and longs for what he does to be accessible to as many as possible.  He also works with teams encouraging everyone to bring their enthusiastic best.

More and more, Geoffrey finds himself exploring slowness to make this happen.  Seeing life rushing us along, a little slowness makes it possible to see so many of the details otherwise missed.  Geoffrey increasingly finds himself reading slowly, walking slowly, involved in slow conversations, and doodling (dawdling), believing finding time for slowness accomplishes a lot more than being rushed along by life.  The doodling has been one of the surprises along the way and a book of doodles is coming out soon.

SARAH HALLIWELL

Sarah is currently the Curriculum Manager for performing arts, technical theatre and youth theatre in Fife College. She has been a member of Equity from the age of 12 working professionally as an actor both in TV and film throughout her life.

Sarah founded the current youth theatre at Fife College and transferred her career into full time lecturing and working as an SQA verifier for Drama and Theatre Arts.  Sarah is planning on growing old disgracefully by returning to her theatrical roots and founding a centre of excellence for inclusive practice in Drama in Fife through education for children and vulnerable adults.

Sarah is passionate about creating jobs for vulnerable adults and young people in the creative industries and using drama process as a medium for learning and teaching and essential skills.

SARAH HENEY

Since 2012 Sarah has been employed on a consultancy basis as the Marketing Manager at The MGA Academy of Performing Arts in Edinburgh.

Prior to that, in her role as Marketing Manager of the Edinburgh Playhouse from 1989 to 2012, Sarah led the marketing of the Playhouse through its transformation from rock venue to the hugely successful home to the West End musicals that it is today.

Through her strong links with the tourism sector both in Edinburgh and more widely in Scotland, Sarah was invited to join the boards of The Audience Business, Luxury Edinburgh and The Edinburgh Capital Group and was part of the Tourism Innovation Group, a select group of 40 Scottish tourism leaders. She was also one of a group of ten Tourism Innovation Ambassadors who were brought together by Scottish Enterprise to promote innovation and creativity in Scottish Tourism.

Prior to her move to Scotland in 1989 Sarah spent 8 years working in the London theatre scene, with 2 years at the Polka Children’s Theatre, two years at the London Coliseum and four years at the First Call Ticket Agency as Operations Manager and then Group Sales Manager.

SUZANNE LOFTHUS [ARTISTIC DIRECTOR]

Like many other artists, Suzanne discovered theatre at a very early age and then was introduced to youth theatre as a teenager where she soon learnt the benefits that theatre brings. Over the years, Suzanne has had many adventures after leaving her job as a Manager in an oil company including performing outdoors in a banana plantation in Honduras to directing plays in prisons overseas.

She works in the company as a Director, Producer and has written a number of plays and books for musicals.

She set Cutting Edge Theatre up in 1995 to “make a difference” and loves seeing how theatre can affect and change lives for the better.

ALAN SCOBIE

Alan spent 20 years in travel and tourism,  and has also been involved in variety of other business activities. Currently involved in business management, Alan supported the work of Cutting Edge Theatre prior to joining the board in 2001 and has been key in helping the company develop and expand over the years. Alan really only has one hobby – football.

 

RACHEL WOOD

Dr Rachel Wood first became actively involved with community theatre when she founded The Princes St Easter Play Trust in 2003. She was producer of the promenade Passion play production in the centre of the city for 5 years. Each year it involved 150 community volunteers. Over the last 12 years thousands of people have come to watch the performances.

It was a once in a lifetime experience for Rachel to go over to Louisiana USA in 2012 and meet the cast to share in some of the rehearsals for the Life of Christ play within Angola State penitentiary. As a GP in Lothian for the last 17 years, Rachel values working with those who would benefit from more opportunities and support in life to reach their potential. She considers it an honour to join the board of Cutting Edge Theatre especially as it expands the work amongst people with a learning disability.  Rachel lives in Livingston with Andi her husband enjoying developing a garden and spending time with friends.

INSPIRE TUTORS

KATIE MILNE [Lead Tutor]

Katie trained in Acting for Stage and Screen BA (hons) at Queen Margaret and Napier University in Edinburgh and is an actress, part time lecturer at Fife College, freelancer within the creative industries, youth theatre facilitator and co-creator of children’s theatre company Pipe Up Productions.  Katie has worked as an INSPIRE Drama tutor for Cutting Edge Theatre since 2012.  She absolutely LOVES facilitating weekly drama classes and has a real passion for growing and developing Inspire.  Katie is extremely grateful for the fantastic opportunities she has had while working for Cutting Edge and looks forward to many more adventures as they continue to grow.

Katie is also one of the Actors in the new production “Downs with Love” which will tour in 2018.

KIRSTY MCINTYRE 

Kirsty trained at East 15 Acting School where, as well as learning different acting techniques, she trained in puppetry, circus skills, mime, clowning, reminiscence, street and invisible theatre, as well as running drama workshops.

Since graduating, Kirsty has worked as an actress with several different theatre companies including The Royal Lyceum Theatre Company, Urban Fox, Canny Creatures, The Tron, Tightlaced Theatre, Black Dingo Productions, Oak Note Theatre, and Cutting Edge Theatre.  She has played lead roles in several short films and a feature film, and has recorded many short stories and an audio book for the RNIB.  She is also a musician and has played her viola, flute and piano in several theatre shows.

She regularly continues her own training as a member of the Tron 100 Club which provides workshops and support to theatre professionals. Kirsty is delighted to be a part of Inspire and working with Cutting Edge Theatre again.

MARILYN WILSON

Marilyn has worked as an actor and director since graduating in 2009. She has worked with a variety companies including Police Scotland and LGBT youth. She is one of the artists-in-residence at Abbeyhill Primary School. More information about Marilyn can be found at http://www.marilynblythwilson.com