SHOPPERS in St Ives were aghast on Saturday as they watched a killer mob surround a young girl and stone her for being a carrier of the plague.

SHOPPERS in St Ives were aghast on Saturday as they watched a killer mob surround a young girl and stone her for being a carrier of the plague.

Fortunately the youngsters were members of St Ives Youth Theatre, re-enacting a scene from upcoming summer production Eyam.

The musical, due to be staged at Burgess Hall from Wednesday, July 20 to Saturday, July 23, tells the true story of how residents of a small village in Derbyshire elected to shut their village off from the outside world in the 1660s in a bid to stem the tide of the bubonic plague.

Of the 350 population, three-quarters succomb to the plague and die. One villager Mary Merril runs away to neighbouring village Tidesworth but is stoned by the residents there.

Also caught up in the unfolding drama are two couples, Emmott Sydall and Roland Torre, and Meg Hawkesworth and Abel Torre. The play follows their desperate struggle to stay together.

The cast made a trip to Eyam on Sunday, where they got to see up-close many of the locations in the play, and learnt more about the outbreak in the village museum.

Artistic director Jonathan Salt said: "It has been an incredible day and very moving. I think the reality of this amazing story has begun to sink in. The company will approach this tale of love and immense bravery with respect and the authenticity it deserves. Eyam promises to be a great show."

Peter Bottley, who plays Roland said: "It is amazing to think they were all ordinary people like us but so brave."

Frankie Morgan, who plays Mary said: "It's incredible to think that all our characters were baptized in this font, that they all sat here in this church 450 years ago. It really was very emotional to be here."

INFORMATION: Tickets are available at www.siyt.com/boxoffice.html and at Hephers Electrical in St Ives. To view a video of Saturday's demonstration go to www.siyt.co.uk.