IT is a real High School Musical - a secondary school has unveiled its plans for becoming the Edinburgh International Festival's newest venue.

The pupils of Castlebrae Community High School in the Craigmillar area of the city, which three years ago was faced with closure, have hosted their own festival (EIF) launch event in the school's gym hall, where the EIF dance show Project R.E.B.E.L will be staged in August.

The performances by the award winning hip-hop dance company Boy Blue will be staged in the gym hall for festival audiences.

The hall will become a theatre with 100 seats for the shows on August 19 and 20 and the school's fitness suite will be turned into a temporary cafe for the festival shows.

Pupils have also worked with catering company Appetite Direct, as the pupils prepare to run the café.

The EIF is now looking for another school to partner with for similar shows in the future - this year's shows at Castlebrae mark the end of a three-year collaboration.

Not long ago the future of the 150-pupil school, set in a deprived area of the capital, was in doubt - it narrowly escaped closure plans in 2013.

At the launch, several S5 and S6 pupils led the presentation, including Alan Swinton, who said: "Working with the festival has changed my perception of the arts industry.

"I really enjoy going to things I didn't expect to like and now I feel like I'm part of the festival team”.

Maria Husain added: “It benefited me in more ways than I can explain with thinking about life and my future; it has made me more confident in and out of school."

The launch also included performances from soprano Emma Morwood and pianist Andrew Brown.

This was a link to another EIF project which Castlebrae pupils are involved in this August: an introduction to opera which will see the EIF produce a version of Puccini’s La bohème for up to 500 senior school students.

In an on-stage interview with students at the school, led by S5 and 6 students Alex Huth, Mr Swinton, Jayanti Bista and Patryk Kasprzyk, festival director Fegrus Linehan said: "One of the advantages of Castlenbrae is that there is a relatively small amount of students, there was a chance to do bring a group of students into the organisation so that we could really develop some relationships over a period of time, rather than dropping in and out again.

"It's great doing things in the big theatres 'up town', but one of the things our technical guys are good at, better than probably anyone else, is taking a space and converting into into a theatre.

"It adds something to the public as well - lovely as it is to go along to the King's Theatre or whatever else, maybe to come somewhere where they maybe have not come before will be a very different, and I think a really good experience for them also."

Mr Swinton noted that other items in the EIF programme may not be to young people's tastes, such as opera, but the hip hop dance project had proved interesting.

Mr Linehan said in response: "As you say, maybe something like opera is considered to be for older people, and you're right.

"And one of the great things about you guys is that you don't hold back, you do tell us when you don't like something, so at the end of the day we are here to celebrate 70 years, but the next stage of the festival isn't going to be me, it's going to be you, and your city and your festival, so we have to think about how we are going to hand it over to you."