14 May, 2018

Announcing the Directors and Designers for Summer 2018

Pitlochry Festival Theatre (PFT) is excited to announce the creative teams for their 2018 Summer Season. 

Award-winning Season Director, Richard Baron is at the helm for the blockbuster musical Chicago which launches the Season in razzle dazzle style on May 25, 8pm. Richard is joined by Set and Costume Designer, Charles Cusick-Smith, for Chicago. Charles is perhaps best-known to Pitlochry audiences for his work on It’s A Wonderful Life and The Steamie, as well as last season, Alan Bennet’s People.

Richard was last seen at Pitlochry directing The Monarch Of The Glen which was nominated last week for BEST NEW PLAY in the Critics’ Awards for Scottish Theatre (CATS). This follows on the heels of his 2017 nomination for the Damsels In Distress Ayckbourn trilogy.

Joining Richard for Chicago will be Assistant Director and Choreographer Chris Stuart-Wilson. Pitlochry audiences will have enjoyed Chris’s previous creative choreographies, including, most recently, Singin’ In The Rain and High Society as well as White Christmas and My Fair Lady.

In a break from Chicago rehearsals Chris said:

The challenge, for any subsequent choreographer, is to create their own model on something that is already so perfect. My jazz style has always been very Fosse-esque, by way of employing minimalist techniques such as finger and hand-ography, so this production aims to honour the Fosse legacy, whilst still giving a fresh edge… and all that Jazz!”

Chris also lends his choreography skills to Travesties and Quality Street while Richard will join forces with uber-talented designer Ken Harrison for Rona Munro’s The Last Witch, promising a vivid and thrilling production, the first - and long overdue - since its première in 2009, in association with award-winning Firebrand Theatre company.

Set and Costume Designer, Adrian Rees, combines with Richard to bring to the Pitlochry stage Tom Stoppard’s play Travesties (opens June 14). This madcap masterpiece shot to fame in last year’s revival in London and, last month, when it transferred to Broadway. Adrian and Richard have worked on many previous PFT productions including Scrooge!, Lady Windermere’s Fan and The Admirable Crichton, and Adrian has also created sets for Singin’ In The Rain – rain included – last Season’s smash musical, High Society and Hello, Dolly! to name just a few.

Adrian will also bring his creative talents to J.M. Barrie’s Quality Street, working alongside Director, Liz Carruthers. Liz and Adrian co-conspire to conjure an ‘Austenesque’ period drama, opening June 7! Expect empire line dresses and dashing redcoats a-plenty. Liz’s first production at Pitlochry was a version of Whisky Galore. She returned, over twenty five years later, to direct Perfect Days (2014) and Para Handy (2016).

PFT’s Associate Director, Gemma Fairlie, has been ‘champing at the bit’ to present her first productions at The Theatre in the Hills. A practitioner for Royal Shakespeare Company Education, Gemma’s directing credits include Romeo And Juliet and King Lear at the Orange Tree Theatre, Beryl at the New Vic, and Full Stop at the Lyric, Hammersmith.

The first of her two Summer shows intensifies PFT’s musical overtones with the 1993 Olivier Award-winning, The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice by Jim Cartwright. Opening May 31, Little Voice may be more familiar to audiences and readers from the fondly remembered performance of Jane Horrocks in with the film version. This year, Pitlochry Theatre will unearth our Little Voice when actor Laura Costello makes her professional debut in the lead role as LV. Make sure you are one of the first to see and hear her phenomenal vocal abilities.

Becky Minto will bring her huge design talent to Little Voice. Becky’s credits include the National Theatre of Scotland’s critically acclaimed The 306: Dawn, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, and PFT’s productions of Hard Times and Para Handy.

Gemma also directs Before The Party, a sharp satire, full of style, post-war prejudices and salacious secrets, from a story by Somerset Maugham and written by Rodney Ackland. Designer Amanda Stoodley makes her PFT début on this terrific show. Amanda’s credits include UK Tours of Hamlet and Black Roses, as well as productions at the Bristol Old Vic and Tron Theatre.

With less than 2 weeks to curtain up on opening night, PFT’s Box Office is reporting record levels of advance sales. Book your tickets today and get the best seats at the best prices, call 01796 484 626, or click here to book online.

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