A GROUP of talented North Ayrshire youngsters staged a fantastic musical drama in Kilwinning last week.

Happy Place, which ran at Cranberry Moss Community Centre in Kilwinning last Thursday and Friday evenings, drew a combined crowd of just under 200 people to see the free show, which was staged by Poetic Justice Productions.

Written and directed by Steven Duffy, from an original idea by Janine Duffy, it saw the youngsters act, sing and dance in a production which drew rave reviews from the audience.

With music by Alaine Walls, Janine Duffy and the Well Happy Band, the performers gave their all in a show designed to teach new skills as well as coping strategies to deal with stress and any problems in their lives.

The show featured Emily Bennett as Melissa, who after a row with her mum retreats to her Happy Place, along with her imaginary friend Fiona, played by Jamie Helley. But they soon become plagued by monsters … and the girls have to learn how to turn Imagination Land into a Happy Place once again.

The young cast also included Jenna Bingham, Kirsty Emma Burns, Lucy Finch, Ballie Summers, Freya Taggart, Jayden Doyle and Caleb McKinney.

Funded by the National Lottery in partnership with The Playz and the kind support of the staff at Cranberry Moss, the production amazed the audience.

Reviews submitted by the audience at the end of the shows included: “I was astounded by the sheer powerhouse performances on display.

“The moral story was great and I feel that is is a shame that the Oscars have just been.”

“We loved it. The young people clearly put their heart and souls into preparing this wonderful production. Fabulous upbeat music.”

“Great to see such confidence and self worth. Fantastic show from a great bunch of young people.”

“Wonderful show. Kids were fantastic and they were really enjoying themselves. Music was fabulous and certainly made me happy.”

“Such energy and enthusiasm to showcase a current and relevant subject.”

The crew included Helen Aitken, producer, Janine Duffy, props, Neil Smith, sound and Nicky Kean, choreography.

Poetic Justice Productions and Well Happy would like to thank all the performers for their fantastic work over the last few months. Special thanks also go to the National Lottery, The Playz, Chris Walls, Alfy Duffy, Linzi Bingham, Ann Robertson, The Wise Goldfish, Jools Walls, Cartoline Peacock and the staff at Cranberry Moss