As part of the European project Platform 11+, Pilot Theatre is mounting a festival this week at York Theatre Royal’ Studio.

Under the umbrella of Artistic Discoveries in European Schoolyards, the Theatre Royal company in residence is mounting three projects as part of a project that connects 13 companies across 12 countries.

Pilot has been working with Manor School and Joseph Rowntree School, leading to performances of Schoolyard Stories on May 17 and May 25 and a day of rehearsed readings and workshops on Sunday.

Artistic director Marcus Romer has returned from Argentina, bearing three cutting-edge tales about life in school Buenos Aires style for performance in Spanish and English by the Argentinean theatre company Atina tomorrow, Monday and Wednesday.

Whereas that show is suitable for 14 year olds and upwards, Richard Hurford’s new play, The Mystery Of Jack And The Clones Of Chaos, is aimed at the eight-plus age group. Directed by Pilot associate director Katie Posner, it will be performed on Tuesday, with half-term workshops and performances to follow from June 1 to 4.

Delayed by the volcanic ash cloud that forced them to fly from Buenos Aires to Madrid and finally onwards to England, Argentinean actors Celeste Martinez and Julian Sierra have arrived in York with assistant director Solange Perazzo to perform WC School, a series of three plays stamped Made In Argentina.

All set in a schoolyard, and more specifically the battleground of the school loos, Carlos de Urquiza’s Nuevas Practicas Comerciales (New Business Transactions), Gabriel Fernandez Chapo’s Che Guevara and Luz Rodriguez Urquiza’s Quedate Aca (Stay Here) were premiered in March when Marcus Romer worked with the company in Buenos Aires.

“I met the company director, Maria Ines Falconi, in Budapest as part of the Platform 11+ project, and I was invited by the Popular University of the Belgrano in Buenos Aires to direct three plays from a choice of six from a playwriting competition from all over South America,” says Marcus.

“So I chose three plays that had a link and spent one month, in February and March, making the show – a very beautiful experience – for performances at the university in March.”

Whereas the shows in Argentina were in Spanish, the performances in York will be in English and Spanish.

“Where else are we going to hear Argentinean Spanish?” says Marcus. “We’ve found a solution to the problem of translation by having a précis and questions in English and answers in Spanish, as we want it to be truthful and for Celeste and Julian to perform like the nightingales they are.”

Solange, Celeste and Julian are acclimatising to performing in England. “It feels weird, exciting, like a whole new experience,” says Solange. “We’re making the plays happen again in a different place, on a different stage with many, many different expressive possibilities.

“We’re renewing the energy of the plays and we believe this work in England will help the plays grow up in Spanish.”

Julian is excited at the possibilities of the project.

“It’s a challenge performing in England, and it’s bigger for me because I don’t speak fluent English,” he says, with the assistance of Solange.

“It’s expressively important for us as independent actors, who perform theatre for children and young people, when usually it’s very difficult to meet people from other cultures. I’m very happy to be an ambassador for my country and very proud of it.”

Celeste has enjoyed the contrast with normal Argentinean theatre working practices. “It’s weird but fantastic at the same time. It’s my first time in Europe, and the feeling is that we’ve had two openings of the plays, first in Argentina and now in York,” she says.

“It’s been a challenge because we had only a short time to develop the show in Buenos Aires, working, working, working long days. Now it’s very interesting to take out our tools and make the plays happen in England.

“Normally we work very differently in Argentina: we would have three or four months of rehearsals for a play, rehearsing maybe three times a week. With Marcus, we worked eight hours a day, when usually four hours would be a long day.”

Solange smiles at the memory. “For us, to turn four months into just three weeks of rehearsals, we didn’t know what had hit us. Marcus had to learn how to let us work in our way,” she says. “But what we’ve learned with this project is how to communicate with someone through theatre in any language.”

Marcus rejoins: “The thing for me is global communications. At one point, we were rehearsing with the aid of Skype, with me watching them live from York, 7,000 miles away,” he says.

“The important thing is where it might lead next, doing work across those huge distances. Having made connections with Argentina, it would be foolish not to develop it further. The way that things are going, if we are to survive after [Culture Secretary] Jeremy Hunt announced 20 per cent cuts, we have to create networks, opening opportunities across communication and connection.”

• For details of performance times and tickets, see Box office: 01904 623568.

Chaos clones puzzle poor Jack

RICHARD Hurford’s short new play for Platform 11+, The Mystery Of Jack And The Clones Of Chaos, looks at identity.

“We all have lots of faces, as we’re all chameleons in life,” says director Katie Posner. “This play looks at how you can be different with your mother to how you are with your friends in the playground.”

Richard decided he wanted to write a play from a boy’s perspective – he will next be co-writing a play from a girl’s perspective with the Italian company Elsinore – and constructed his drama around 13-year-old Jack, whose world changes when the “Clones Of Chaos” move in to his bedroom.

Bryn Holding, 22, will play Jack as a time-travelling adult, as well as the assorted clones that threaten to take over his bygone teenage world, and he will be joined in the cast by 14-year-old Mark Armstrong-Smith.

“The piece was originally going to be a one-man show but now it will feature Mark as young Jack,” says Katie.

“Because Bryn is playing ten other characters, like Cool Jack, Jack The Lad and Hairy Jack, I wanted to have someone there on stage who was younger, rather than just have the adult Jack travelling back in time.”