Pitlochry postpones summer season

Apr 6 2020 | By More

Replaced with 25 pieces for online consumption

Pitlochry Festival Theatre has postponed its complete summer 2020 season until 2021 due to Covid-19 and replaced it with 25 commissions from its Shades of Tay project, to be presented as online works over the coming months.

The complete six strong summer rep season will now play from Friday 21 May to Saturday 2 October 2021. Including a new production of Gypsy, David Greig’s new play Adventures with the Painted People and a Caitlin Skinner-helmed production of Kiss Me Quickstep.

Pitlochry Festival Theatre in the gloaming. Pic: Julius Cardew

Shades of Tay is the PFT’s three year project to create 50 artistic responses to the River Tay and its surrounding landscape. The theatre is situated on the banks of the River Tummel, just a few miles upstream from where it flows into the Tay.

In response to its delayed season, PFT has brought forward commissions to 25 writers from Scotland and beyond which will be made into audio dramas, podcasts and short films.

Elizabeth Newman, the artistic director of PFT said of the project: “The River Tay is 117 miles long. It possesses some of the most spiritual, exciting and inspiring stories. It is the compelling River Highway that everyone crosses at some point.

shared humanity

“We want this work to respond to the ideas found in this rich landscape, creating a celebration of our shared humanity and how art is wholly and truly inspired by nature.”

The pieces will be performed by professional actors including Kirsty Stuart and Deirdre Davis, who would otherwise have been taking part in the summer season. They will be presented as the next instalment of #PFTLightHopeJoy which is the Theatre’s digital response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pitlochry Festival Theatre looks across the River Tummel. Pic PFT

A compilation of the works will be performed as a live festival at the Enchanted Forest and PFT after the Theatre reopens.

The commissioned writers include Edinburgh-based playwright Jo Clifford, who wrote and performed The Gospel According to Jesus Queen of Heaven, and a wealth of other plays.

Commenting on the project, Jo Clifford said: “I used to spend a lot of time in a house right beside the River Tay, and was struck by its incredible power. Right now I’m living in isolation – also because of the incredible power of nature.

“I look out of my window and I see how, regardless of the turmoil and suffering in the human world, the power of nature is still making everything grow in this extraordinary spring.

“It’s a privilege and a joy to reflect on these things as I reach out from my solitude to the new audiences this opportunity opens up to me.”

Commissions so far include a wealth of Scottish talent with Peter Arnott, Jo Clifford, Olly Emanuel, Stephen Greenhorn, Lesley Hart, Hannah Lavery, Douglas Maxwell, Nicola McCartney, Linda McLean, Martin McCormick, Michael O’Neill, Frances Poet, Sally Reid, Ellie Stewart, May Sumbwanyambe, and Morna Young already on the book.

Playwrights from further afield include Daniel Bye, Hannah Khalil, Chinonyerem Odimba, Timberlake Wertenbaker, and Abi Zakarian – with more still to be announced.

PFT say that they hope that the project will be “uplifting, hopeful and embracing in this time of confusion and separation”.

Listings and Links

The 25 new commissions will be available via #PFTLightHopeJoy on the Pitlochry Festival Theatre YouTube channel.

The will also  be available through its social media channels:
Twitter: @PITLOCHRYft;
Facebook: @pitlochryfestivaltheatre;
and Instagram: @pitlochryft.

Pitlochry Festival Theatre 2021 Summer Season
Port Na Craig, Pitlochry, Perthshire PH16 5DR
Box Office and group bookings: 01796 484626 /
Website: pitlochryfestivaltheatre.com
Gypsy: Fri 21 May – Sat 2 Oct 2021
Private Lives: Fri 4 June – Wed 29 Sep 2021
Kiss Me Quickstep: Fri 11 June – Thurs 30 Sept 2021
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof: Fri 18 June – Sat 2 Oct 2021
Adventures With The Painted People: Thurs 22 July – Fri 1 Oct 2021
Sense And Sensibility: Thurs 26 Aug – Fri 1 Oct 2021


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