Shakespeare brings rioting youngsters to Traquair

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Youths have been rioting fiercely at Traquair House.

The violent rabble, made up of Francescas, Robertos and Luigis, hurled 16th century insults and fell on each other with vicious blows; the June production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is their excuse.

The children are creating a criminal setting for the feuding families to tell their tale.

The 40 plus youngsters range in age from six to 16 and director Kath Mansfield is delighted with the young cast.

She said: “They are such a lovely rabble of kids. They listen and they do as requested, unlike their characters.

“That is probably down to previous directors at Traquair training them to understand the demands of outdoor performances.

“Incorporating youngsters into Romeo and Juliet gives a clear background of family involvement.

“The play is about feuding families, so ages six to 60-plus is perfect. These youngsters get involved in the street brawls and witness murders.

“It is what still happens in the more corrupt neighbourhoods and dangerous ghettos of our beautiful, but imperfect, world. I am very lucky to have a cast of over 60 to create this atmosphere.”

Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare at Traquair runs June 1 to 4 and June 7 to 10.

Tickets are available from the Eastgate Theatre in Peebles (01721 725777) with or without pre-play dinner. See for moreinformation.