A tale of three sisters obsessed with the past, whiling away the years in the remote Shetland Islands, is coming to the Rose Theatre as part of this year’s International Youth Arts Festival (IYAF).

Sisters is a reworked and modernised piece based on Anton Chekov’s Three Sisters.

Writer Ben Clare, a Kingston University graduate, says: “This is my first production in the main house there. It is an exciting opportunity.

“I have been involved with the theatre for a number of years. I fell in love with the incredible space and the dynamics of it.

“I am a big fan of Chekov’s work and especially Three Sisters. It is a very poignant, funny drama about a family set in Russia at the turn of the 20th century.

“What I wanted to do was write a new play inspired by it. I have transformed it to modern day, to a remote island.

“It is about young people and their ups and downs. It is set over several years and charts the family through good times and bad times.”

The play explores the rocky transition from childhood to adulthood.

Actress Naomi Marsden, another Kingston graduate who plays lovelorn middle sister Mia, says the group’s weekly rehearsals are going well.

She says: “I think they are going to get a bit more intense in the next few weeks. We have got to do it on the main stage of the Rose, so we have got some work to do because we have been working in a small space.”

The sisters’ reclusive world is shaken up by the return of soldiers from the Iraq war.

Marsden says: “She is in a loveless marriage. This man she used to love is back from the war, and that complicates things a bit.

“They live in this old-worldy time. They are kind of obsessed with the past and their ancestors.

“They don’t have glamorous parties any more like they used to. They long for London.

“She is witty and intelligent, but a difficult person. She says all the things no one wants to say.”

She says she is enjoying being part of the IYAF again. She says: “It is brilliant. Every year it gets bigger and bigger.

“It feels like Kingston comes alive for the month it’s on.”

Sisters; Rose Theatre, 24-26 High Street, Kingston; July 15-28; various times; £5-£15; visit rosetheatrekingston.org or call 08444 821556.