The County You Live, Work And Play

© 2016 All rights reserved. Made By Mike Wilson

The Rifles At Hamilton Town House


25/10/15
























More than 7000 men of the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) were killed during the First World War – and some of their stories are being told in a powerful new play.

Journals from the regiment’s collection in Low Parks Museum form the basis of The Rifles.

And teenagers from Lanarkshire high schools will perform the roles of the men who were barely older than them when they went to war.


Writer Martin Travers said: "It’s a privilege to be involved in it. I didn’t know the content of the diaries and journals, but they are so poetic and funny, yet sad as well. Their relationships and camaraderie really come through. It’s a Lanarkshire play. There will be thousands of people who are related to men that would have been in the Cameronians."


Hamilton Town House will host the musical play that has a cast of 26 teenagers, a seven-piece professional band and 48 singers from New College Lanarkshire.

Martin added: "We knew it would be good to use music. I did a lot of listening to musical hall songs. People were jaunty to begin with, thinking they’d be back for Christmas. It does get darker and ends at the Battle of Loos, the first time Britain used gas, and it came back on the soldiers. We set out to make it a good night out, there’s a full underscore as well, so it will feel quite cinematic. The space is perfect for something like this, the Town House was built for music halls so it will feel at home."








































River City actress Keira Lucchesi dropped by to support the young actors and back The Rifles.


The cast are going through final rehearsals and met WWII veteran Ian Forsyth, who is helping to organise Hamilton’s Remembrance events. River City actress Keira Lucchesi also dropped by to give some tips.


The Rifles will tell stories that are a century old, but are still relevant to the audience of today.

Martin said: "It’s Europe in flux, this is what we’re going through now. There’s lots of mentions of refugees and displaced people. It’s 100 years ago, but there’s a lot of resonance."


The lessons from the past will be learned by thousands of school pupils, who are set to watch the play in the days before it opens to the public.

Martin added: "There will be closed performances for more than 2000 P7 pupils. I think they will be a wee bit scared, there’s nothing gory in it, but it is World War One. You’ll hear explosions and airplanes and it will be a really rich experience."


The Rifles will be at Hamilton Town House between Thursday and Saturday, November 5 to 6. Performances will be at 7.30pm, with a 2pm matinee on the Saturday.

Tickets are £10 for adults and £6 for children.

Call the box office on 01698 452299 or go online to www.sllcboxoffice.co.uk .