Evening Telegraph

Traveller community in spotlight at Dundee Rep

The story of Scottish Travellers living in the 1930s has opened a new season of ensemble plays at Dundee Rep.

The Yellow on the Broom is an adaptation of Betsy Whyte’s 1979 autobiography, told through music and song.

Written for the stage by Anne Downie, the play tells the story of young Traveller Bessie Townsley. Her mother and father teach her the ways of the land but their lifestyle is under threat. With winter approaching, the family settle in Brechin for the season.

Cast members from the Dundee Rep Ensemble in a dress rehearsal of The Yellow of the Broom

There, Bessie must attend 100 days of compulsory schooling and although she shows promise in the classroom, the Travelling life she adores is viciously attacked by those around her.

The show is the first in Dundee Rep Ensemble’s new season, and is directed by the Rep’s artistic director Andrew Panton.

Opening last night at the Tay Square theatre, it runs until September 22, before moving to the Macrobert Arts Centre in Stirling for a week-long run.

In addition, a series of events shining a light on the Traveller culture will be held each Friday evening.

The first will feature “A night of stories and song” with author and Traveller, Jess Smith.