INSULTS and sneers are flying across the floor from both of the opposing sides. A lone voice is calling “Order! Order!” but to no avail. No, it’s not business as usual for members of the Westminster house, it is a run-through for members of Junction 25 who are rehearsing their forthcoming production, A Bit of Bite, which opens at Tramway next week.

In the past, the company has put aspects of education, gender bias and the increase of intrusive surveillance under scrutiny: this time, they’re talking politics and – as is always the case with Junction 25 – those on-stage are voicing their own opinions, telling us how the world looks from a young person’s perspective. And though, going by the extracts I watched, there’s a typical Junction 25 strand of humour and spoof – with topical satirical bite in it – there are also moments of serious reflection and personal conviction that challenge voter apathy, bigotry and the abuse of power.

Outspoken, a bit bolshie and prepared to stand their ground. Directors Jess Thorpe and Tashi Gore wouldn’t have the participants, or the resulting performance, any other way. It’s what they had in mind when they co-founded Junction 25 in 2005. Then, as now, the company’s methodology aimed to encourage young people – age range 11 to 18 – to use theatre-making and devising material as a way of expressing themselves, and in that process explore more about who they were and what matters to them.

“It’s been really interesting,” says Thorpe “to discover how politics, not just party politics or the forthcoming referendum on EU membership, but what else is happening in the world, impacts on the different age groups in the company. We have 18 year olds who are now able to vote – for them, the issue of choice is now a very practical and meaningful one. The 12 year olds don’t have that power, but they still have opinions, and they feel just as strongly about having their voice heard. So we’ve structured parts where a 12 year old is trying to speak, and the 18 year old just takes over. And how that feels, to be denied your voice.”

Gore picks up on that thread, and describes some of the preparatory groundwork that’s been ongoing for months. “We’ve used workshops to talk about aspects of freedom,” she says. “The freedom to vote, freedom of speech, freedom to make your own choices in life – and, actually, how do you choose? There’s been such a lot of research that’s gone into this show. Our own researches, but also the fact-finding and researching of different sides to political decision-making that individuals have done for themselves. I think one of the most important things that’s come out of this is that you need to accept other people having different, even opposite opinions to your own. That they do have a right to their opinion. For us, as directors, it’s been quite difficult and challenging not to push our viewpoints on the issues we’ve discussed – but we’re not in the show, it’s not our voices we want you to hear.”

Two of those on-stage voices belong to Laiqa Umar, 17, and Cara Brodie,18, both of them very articulate about how their own backgrounds and experiences have shaped the ideas they hold. In the course of A Bit of a Bite, Umar will voice a personal response to racism as it has already affected her. “I am the only Muslim in Junction 25,” she says. “The only person in the group who wears a headscarf. When we were in Edinburgh, on the Fringe with I’d Rather Humble Than Hero, and just walking together on the street, some-one was very racist and very abusive towards me. Jess and Tashi were so angry – but I was the one saying 'no, just leave it. I’m used to it. Let’s move along.'”

Umar would have been fifteen at the time, and by her own admission not especially drawn to politics, party-based or otherwise. She continues: “But since then – and because of how we’ve been exploring rights and choices for this production – I’ve been thinking 'why should I be used to something that is not just hurtful, but wrong?' I’m a Glaswegian – just listen to my accent! – so why should some-one tell me I don’t belong here? Why should some-one decide that because I’m different, I’m dangerous?”

Listening to this, Brodie is nodding. “You can put it down to ignorance as well as prejudice,” she says. “But it’s really difficult to argue with a racist. They really don’t want to hear.”

Unlike Umar, Brodie was already politically aware and fiercely interested before Junction 25 started shaping A Bit of Bite.

“My family has always been actively interested in politics,” she says. “I was brought up with that, going along to protests and demos since I was really young, just always knowing how important it was to be engaged in the issues that affect you at home, and abroad.

"I was able to vote in the Scottish referendum, but this is the first time I’ll be able to vote in a UK context and for me, that is so important. It’s like this show: it’s empowering. With Junction 25, it’s not really like other youth companies. You’re not 'acting', you’re saying, in your own words, what you think about the world that is your future. You’re taken seriously. And yes, you can disagree with other people in the company, just as you would in any debate, or in any referendum. It goes beyond party politics. It’s the politics of how we live now, and how we choose to live.”

Junction25 present A Bit of Bite is at Tramway, Glasgow from Tuesday to Thursday.