Tuesday, February 27

Pitlochry Festival Theatre launch four months of online premières

As part of their response to lockdown Pitlochry Festival Theatre is launching four months of online premieres as part of its three-year Shades of Tay project,

The series of new digitals works under the banner of A Love Letter to Scotland launch on August 7th and are written by an exciting line-up of British playwrights and poets including Timberlake Wertenbaker, Jo Clifford, Hannah Khalil, Peter Arnott, Abi Zakarian and Chinonyerem Odimba.

They are being brought to life by the theatre’s 2020 Summer Season ensemble and form a vital part of the theatre’s tri-daily, digital series #PFTLightHopeJoy, which launched just before lockdown began.

Inspired by the River Tay and its surrounding landscape the works will be performed as audio dramas, podcasts, short films. The cast will also perform the short works later in a live festival after the theatre reopens.

The first piece will launch on Friday 7th August with Douglas Maxwell’s new work, Beautiful Boy and will then continue weekly until late November, Then the theatre’s supporters can  look forward to new pieces from Timberlake Wertenbaker, Stephen Greenhorn, Peter Arnott, Jo Clifford, Abi Zakarian, Hannah Khalil, Chinonyerem Odimba, Daniel Bye, Oliver Emanuel, Hannah Lavery, Jenny Lindsay, Martin McCormick, Linda McLean, Michael O’Neill, Frances Poet, Dan Rebellato, Ellie Stewart and Morna Young.

More new works are also scheduled to appear online throughout December from Deborah McAndrew, Bert Clark, Sally Reid, Lesley Hart and May Sumbwanyambe.

Each piece will be performed by one of Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s 2020 Summer Season cast, including Kirsty Stuart and Richard Standing, whom Pitlochry Theatre fans would have seen in the hugely-acclaimed production of Brian Friel’s Faith Healer last Autumn; as well as Barbara Hockaday, and Rachael McAllister, who both made their debut in 2019.

“The writing that has been produced by this extraordinary group of writers has been simply incredible,” says Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s Artistic Director Elizabeth Newman.

“The writers have approached the task with their own personal verve and, therefore, each piece is unique, rich, powerful and offers up the identity of the individual’s voice too.”

All the new works will be captioned, free to access and share, and are intended as gifts to those isolated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and people missing live theatre.

The commissioned work for Shades of Tay is not limited to writing with plans for bio-sculpting, a water installation, song-writing – including Tay Songs by Ball Boy, and She-Town Ballad by Lila Clements and Tarek Merchant. For children there is Ligach and the Salmon, a story by Lynda Radley, and a Beaver Ballad, written and performed by renowned playwright and sound designer, Isobel McArthur and MJ McCarthy.

All Shades of Tay commissions will première on Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s online platforms, including YouTube: https://bit.ly/PFT_YouTube where all videos from the #PFTLightHopeJoy series can be followed.