11 January, 2018

Line-up for Winter Words Festival Announced

As the last days of Winter submit to Spring, Pitlochry Festival Theatre ramps up the action with 40 events from 2-18 February, kick-starting Scotland’s literary year into gear.

The fourteenth Winter Words Festival covers even more genres and activities than ever before. Along with broadcasters, explorers, authors and adventurers, there’s a thread of writing and performance workshops, a slice of family and children’s events, plus music, a book fair and three writing competitions! There’s something for everyone, so prepare to wake up from Winter - be inspired, engaged and stimulated - mind, body and spirit.

Featuring in this year’s stellar line up, Val McDermid, Scotland’s Queen of crime fiction, brings a two-dimensional personality to the festival. In conversation with fellow crime-writer, Doug Johnstone, Val will discuss her latest novel, Insidious Intent, then, later that evening, the pair take to the stage to perform, alongside crime-writing pals Mark Billingham, Chris Brookmyre, Luca Veste and Stuart Neville, forming the band Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, ready to ‘murder’ their favourite, distinctly criminal, hit songs.

Winter Words first weekend launches on Friday evening, 2 February, with accomplished, Aviemore-based filmmaker, Kirk Watson, revealing fascinating, Antarctic filming secrets. Last year’s sell-out, Banff Mountain Film Festival, follows on the Saturday with two new programmes of adrenaline-packed, extreme action, sports and stunning scenery from around the globe.

Cameron McNeish, currently on BBC Two’s The Adventure Show, brings his passion for the outdoors from almost forty years of writing about walking and climbing in Scotland. Broadcaster and author, Sally Magnusson, talks about her debut novel, The Sealwoman’s Gift, a brilliant re-imagining of the plight of the women and children involved in a 1627 Icelandic pirate raid, while The Flying Scotsman, Graeme Obree, gives a fascinating insight into breaking cycling records on his home-built bike. Paul Murton, one of Scotland’s best-known TV presenters, will take you on a turn-by-turn whirl around the history, mythology and extraordinary beauty of the Hebrides.

In a unique evening of story and song, there’s a special celebration of the life and work of Dundee’s best-loved singer-songwriter, Michael Marra, performed by daughter Alice and her uncle, Christopher Marra, with biographer, James Robertson.

Fused into this year’s festival are events designed specifically to welcome children and families. Morning Storytelling over the weekend, Movement Workshops for 18 months to 5 years, based on the well-loved story, We’re Going On a Bear Hunt, The Art of Comic Books workshop for older years and Fear500, a creative writing workshop for 9-12 year olds.

Workshops abound for adults too - budding writers and performers can get interactive with award-winning playwright, Lesley Wilson’s Introduction to Playwriting, and PFT’s Associate Director, Gemma Fairlie’s Improvisation and Dialogue Workshop, based on techniques of improvisation legend, Keith Johnstone, and her experience with the RSC, The Royal Court, the New Vic and National Theatre. Peter Arnott will be in Q&A session with Gemma, talking about Adapting Novels for the Theatre and his acclaimed adaptation of Compton Mackenzie’s The Monarch Of The Glen, for PFT last Autumn.

Playwrights based in Scotland are invited to submit original 10-minute plays to the inaugural PFT Short Play Award. The top three will be performed during Winter Words using professional actors, with the winning play performed during the Summer. Get your submissions in now! To find out how and when, full details can be found here.

And new this year is Fear 500, a short (500 word) story competition for 9 to 16 year olds, accompanying the ever-popular Fearie Tales Writing Competition, which returns again this year.

Don’t miss your chance to get together with great minds this February! To see the full festival details click here

Call the Box Office on 01796 484626 to book your tickets, or book online here

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