SHAKESPEARE returns to the Borders this summer as a local theatre group brings back its popular performances.

After a two-year break due to the coronavirus pandemic, Shakespeare at Traquair is back for its 25th performance at the Borders attraction.

The group was supposed to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2020, however, lockdown scuppered its plans. Now, the group is set to perform the play which launched it in 1995 – A Midsummer Night's Dream.

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A spokesperson said: "Many already know the story of the two young couples – the lovers – who run away from Athens but lose their way in a forest where Oberon, King of the Fairies, aims to get revenge on his disobedient queen Titania with a magic potion that makes people fall in love with the next creature they see.

"The lovers get mixed up in the magical jiggery-pokery and Oberon’s mischievous servant Puck makes both boys fall in love with the same girl. Titania, meanwhile, becomes enamoured of an ass.

"There are chases, confusion, laughter and much music."

Shakespeare at Traquair was launched as part of a campaign led by Richard Nisbet and Dame Judy Steel for an arts centre in Peebles – the initiative played a key role in developing the Eastgate Theatre.

Nisbet joins the team of directors working on this year's production. The team features Nisbet, Tom Hudson, Steve Russell and Tim Wilcock.

They are supported by an enthusiastic cast of all ages.

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The spokesperson added: "It's an enchanting mix of love, otherworldliness and fun.

"This production is set in the 1960s with most of the music from that colourful decade, featuring songs from Elvis, the Beatles and others.

"And costumes by Sally Wild and Rosemary Donald are in the style of Bill Gibb, an Aberdeenshire fashion designer, famous in the 1960s and 1970s for his unusual and flattering designs."

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Audiences for A Midsummer Night's Dream will be 100 per show to ensure all get a good view of the performance.

And those attending are reminded to prepare for all weather conditions.

"The show will go ahead come rain or shine (or wind or hail) – we’ve not had to cancel once in over 25 years," said the group's spokesperson.

Shakespeare at Traquair will hold eight shows over two weeks, from Wednesday to Saturday each week.

The first week of performances will be from June 1-4, followed by shows from June 8-11.

Tickets for performances on Wednesdays and Thursdays are £8 or £6 concessions. For audiences attending on Fridays or Saturdays, tickets will be £14 and £12 concessions.

Pre-booking tickets is advised.

Tickets can be purchased from the Eastgate Theatre box office on 01721 725777 or visit their website at: