Thursday, May 30

David Greig’s new play Adventures with the Painted People gets its stage premiere

David Greig’s new play Adventures with the Painted People which started life as a radio play makes its stage debut at Pitlochry Festival Theatre.

It was first commissioned as part of Pitlochry’s cancelled 2020 season and subsequently became a radio play on BBC Radio 3. Now it’s set to have its world stage première from 10th June to 4th July in the theatre’s outdoor amphitheatre as part of their Summer Season.

Greig’s first new play since 2013’s The Events will be directed by Pitlochry’s Artistic Director Elizabeth Newman, and is a love story exploring the value of history and the power of writing.  

Lucius is a cultured Roman officer captured by the Picts and about to be sacrificed. Eithne is a wise Pictish woman, who wants to record her people’s history in writing – a skill they do not yet have.  

She makes a deal – she will rescue Lucius, in exchange for him teaching her to write. So, they must flee – not by road, the Romans have not built those yet, but down river.

“When I was contemplating what we could make this summer, and it was becoming more and more apparent that indoor performance was going to be more challenging for audiences, our new commission, Adventures with the Painted People by David Greig, just kept singing to me,” says Elizabeth Newman.  “The play has never left my heart, or mind, since we made it at the start of the last lockdown with Culture in Quarantine, BBC Arts and Radio 3.  

“So, as I made plans with the Pitlochry Festival Theatre team, the amphitheatre seemed like the perfect space for Adventures with the Painted People. It also felt entirely fitting that a new play by the truly brilliant David Greig would be the first piece for audiences to see in this exciting outdoor performance space.”  

David Greig is a multi-award-winning playwright who became the Artistic Director of The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh in 2015.   

“We intended to produce Adventures with the Painted People for audiences last year, but the pandemic prevented this from happening,” notes David Greig.  “We recorded the play for Radio but I’m thrilled that finally it will live as I intended and as I imagined when writing the play.

It is a play that speaks to the past but also very much considers where we are now as a society and the things we might consider as we try to find a way to move forward together. Eithne and Lucius are two characters I loved imagining in my mind. I’ve enjoyed them speaking to me for the past couple of years but I’m so excited for them to speak to an audience in Pitlochry’s Amphitheatre.”

Casting will be announced in the coming weeks.

Adventures with the Painted People will première at Pitlochry Festival Theatre from the 10th June – 4th July.

For tickets and further information visit

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