Playing Barrie – PFT actor draws on his previous role

Barrie: “Something else is happening. Do you hear it? The call has come to Mary Rose: It is at first as soft and furtive as whisperings from holes in the ground...”

Simultaneously rehearsing multiple parts in a wide variety of styles and periods, then performing four - out of the six shows which play in daily rotation at the Theatre in the Hills – is a challenge greatly relished by actor Alan Steele who returns to Pitlochry Festival Theatre for a 5th Summer Season.

Alan plays Fret in David Grieg’s Europe, 13th Earl of Gurney in The Ruling Class by Peter Barnes, Les in Alan Bennett’s People and J.M. Barrie in Mary Rose, a role he has returned to having memorably portrayed the Scottish playwright in the much-loved The Admirable Crichton at PFT in 2014.

Reflecting, in particular, on his role as Barrie during a break from rehearsals, Alan said:

“Barrie frames each scene and comments on the action with a wry wit. The whimsy and social commentary are all there but, like the character of Barrie himself, there is a darkness to the Neverland of Mary Rose, even a cruelty, and the shadows of the 1st world war darkens this play.”

Alongside Alan in Mary Rose, there’s a stellar cast which features Valerie Cutko who recently stole all the reviews when she played Mrs Mullins in Carousel in London and Sara Clark Downie who is fresh from recently finishing filming the second series of Lovesick for Netflix. Irene Allan is also part of the cast, and who is perhaps best remembered for standout performances in several PFT productions previously, including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie Lady Windermere’s Fan and What Every Woman Knows.

Mary Rose opens on Thursday 1 June (2pm & 8pm). You can book tickets by calling PFT’s Box Office on 01796 484 626 (open 9 to 5pm everyday) or buy online by clicking here.

See all news articles