2 May, 2019

2019 Summer Season acting company announced

Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s new 17-strong, actor-musician ensemble (pictured) gathered together at the famous Pitlochry stage to celebrate the launch of another spectacular Summer Season at the Perthshire Powerhouse.

Pitlochry audiences will note the company features several familiar faces, including Fiona Wood, winner of the 2018 Leon Sinden Award for Best Supporting Actress as Susan in Before The Party. Fiona returns in a number of key roles, including Abigail Williams in the timeless parable of passion and persecution, The Crucible, Lily the musical nun in Blonde Bombshells Of 1943, as well as the lead role of Sarah McCrea in Heritage

Deirdre Davis and David Rankine, the less-than-star-crossed-lovers of The Last Witch, are also back this summer. Deirdre, famed for playing Eileen Donachie in BBC Scotland’s River City, will be manifesting the madcap medium, Madame Arcati in Noël Coward’s supernatural marital merry-go-round, Blithe Spirit amongst other roles, while David will be channelling his inner Cliff Richard for the full-on, feel-good musical Summer Holiday, as well as playing Michael Donoghue in Nicola McCartney’s epic drama Heritage, a play that explores love and identity.

Not seen on the Pitlochry stage since Outlying Islands in 2008, Claire Dargo, a multi-award-winning actor who has also toured recently with the Sydney Opera House, as well as appearing on TV in Doctors, Shetland and Channel 4’s Catastrophe, will be playing leading roles, Ruth in Blithe Spirit, Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible, and Margaret Hale in the costume drama set amongst the snowy fibres of a money-driven cotton mill., North And South.

Ali Watt first performed at Pitlochry during the 2014 Season - The Yellow On The Broom, The Admirable Crichton - returning in 2017 to play Hector MacDonald (and his sister!) in the much-acclaimed, CATS Best Play award-winning The Monarch of the Glen. In 2019 he takes up the lead role of Charles Condomine in Blithe Spirit, alongside a further three roles.

Last seen in the 2014 Season returns Royal Academy of Music graduate, Richard Colvin in Summer Holiday as Al, while Wendy Paver was last in Pitlochry in the hugely-acclaimed Hello, Dolly! (2013). Wendy has performed in the West End’s in Dreamboats And Petticoats and brings her musicianship to the sparkling wartime comedy, Blonde Bombshells of 1943, brimming with live 40s music.

Harry Long and Marc Small are both making their debuts at Pitlochry, and both familiar faces on the small screen, from Lark Rise To Candleford to Doc Martin, The IT Crowd to The Sooty Show! Harry joins to take the roles of two Johns - Proctor in The Crucible and Thornton in North And South. Marc takes the roles of two Hales! Reverend Hale in The Crucible, Richard Hale in North And South, as well as father Peter, the peacemaker, in Heritage.

Barbara Hockaday, composer and musical director as well as performer, was a member of the original cast of Blonde Bombshells but at Pitlochry, takes on the supernatural sultry Elvira in Blithe Spirit. Whilst Alexander Bean – the only brave chap to join the Bombshells cast - as Patrick the draft-dodging, frock-donning drummer – claims he has photographic evidence he’s been a percussing pro from 2 years old.

Amongst the many new faces at PFT this Season, Lynwen Haf Roberts, who played Cherry in the popular Welsh soap opera Rownd A Rownd for S4C will be playing opposite Pitlochry’s Cliff, as romantic lead, Barbara in Summer Holiday and totes her ‘liquorice stick’ as naïve schoolgirl clarinetist, Liz in Blonde Bombshells. Luke Thornton brings a wealth of musical experience having already performed in Summer Holiday, as well as Footloose and Chitty Chitty, Bang Bang, while Tilly-Mae Millbrook’s musical director credits include the Royal Academy of Music.

Set to spend their Summer in Pitlochry are a trio of experienced Shakespearean performers. Emilie Patry has taken roles in a number of Bard In The Botanics productions, but brings her saxophone to the stage as Band Leader Betty for Blonde Bombshells. Alicia McKenzie has worked with the RSC, as well as the New Vic and many theatres across the UK, and joins Emilie in the war-torn 40s as May, while Matthew Tomlinson, who has taken on ‘the Scottish Play’ at Stafford Shakespeare Festival, will bring his blistering guitar abilities to the Pitlochry stage when he plays Gerry in Summer Holiday.

The 2019 Summer Season at Pitlochry Festival Theatre opens at 8pm on Friday 24th May, with the first performance of Summer Holiday; a fortnight later, Noël Coward’s mystic comedy, full of mischief and high spirits, Blithe Spirit opens at 8pm, Thursday 6, June; Blonde Bombshells of 1943 a week later, Thursday, 13 June, 8pm, and Arthur Miller’s The Crucible the following Thursday 20 June. Heritage opens later in July and North And South at the end of August.

 To book tickets call Box Office on 01796 484 626 click here to book online.

Front Row (L-R): Lynwen Haf Roberts, Luke Thornton, Emilie Patry and Tilly-Mae Millbrook
Middle Row (L-R): Richard Colvin, Fiona Wood, Alexander Bean, Alicia McKenzie, Wendy Paver, Ali Watt, Claire Dargo, David Rankine and Marc Small
Back Row (L-R): Matthew Tomlinson, Barbara Hockaday, Deirdre Davis and Harry Long

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