DARK suits, thin black ties and a distinctly menacing look.
At first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking the two “tough guys” above left were part of London’s 1960s criminal underworld.
In fact Jake Barinov and Conor Ledger are far from being violent mobsters.
The duo are dressed up to take on the characters of notorious criminals Reggie and Ronnie Kray, the most famous perpetrators of organised crime in London in the 1950s and 1960s.
Talented Jake, 17, and Conor, 18 are both taking Drama and Theatre Studies at Barton Peveril in Eastleigh and are also members of the Nuffield Theatre.
For their recent exam they devised and scripted a 15-minute piece based on the lives of the violent Kray twins, who ran the capital’s underworld with an iron fist.
The students came up with the idea after Conor, from Warsash, became fascinated with the life of the twins.
Jake, from Woolston in Southampton, who plays Reggie, revealed that they become so caught up in playing the two gangsters they have ended up “scaring” people who walk in while they’re researching.
“We do get quite worked up while we’re practising and when someone comes in we do not break from the characters. We have scared quite a few people in rehearsal,” he said.
“It has been massively enjoyable playing them.
“Neither of us feels like the story is ready to be buried and we want to tell our generation about it.”
Conor and Jake hope to lengthen their play and take it on tour.
They have shared the script with the Youth Theatre director at the Nuffield, where staff are deciding whether the play can be taken to an arts festival later in the year.