3 October, 2019

Pitlochry secures top TV trio for Autumn show

Brian Friel’s tender masterpiece Faith Healer is Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s Autumn production (17 Oct to 3 Nov). Directed by the award-winning Artistic Director Elizabeth Newman, the show features three familiar faces from the world of Television.

Taking the title role of The Fantastic Francis Hardy is the hugely talented George Costigan. On television earlier this year in Gentleman Jack with Suranne Jones, he has also starred in the massive hit series Line of Duty, as former Chief Superintendent - and criminal operative - Patrick Fairbank, and both series of Happy Valley, as the father of Ann. In fact he’s rarely been off our screens, from shows like A Touch of Frost, Vera and Inspector Morse, to Doctor Who, Coogan’s Run and Holby City, and many more, as well as a spell in Emmerdale.

George rose to fame as Bob in the 1987 film Rita, Sue and Bob Too and also featured in Calendar Girls, Shirley Valentine and Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter. He has performed all over the UK on stage - he created the role of Mickey Johnstone in Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers – but is thrilled to be back in Scotland, having performed previously in King Lear, Chris Hannan’s Crime and Punishment, Zinnie Harris’ This Restless House and then nominated for a CATS award for Long Day’s Journey Into Night. This year he has been busy, at Royal Lyceum Edinburgh and Citizen’s Theatre, Glasgow, in Zinnie Harris’ hotly-acclaimed reworking of John Webster’s The Duchess (Of Malfi).

Richard Standing plays Teddy, Frank’s born-into-show-business manager. Richard is best known for his relationship with Sally Webster in Coronation Street – in which he was a regular for two years - playing love interest Danny Hargreaves, finally jilting her on their wedding day. His other television credits include Holby City, Silent Witness, Doctors, The Grand, Casualty, and many other TV appearances. On stage, Richard has performed as Sam Carmichael in Mamma Mia!, both in the West End and on tour, and has extensive Shakespearian experience, from the eponymous role of Macbeth along with Hamlet, Twelfth Night, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in the last year at the Rose Theatre, York, along with Richard III, Comedy Of Errors, The Merchant Of Venice, Henry V, and many more, with Northern Broadsides. Film appearances include When Did You Last See Your Father with Colin Firth, Jim Broadbent and Juliet Stevenson.

Playing The Fantastic Francis Hardy’s indefatigable wife Grace, is Kirsty Stuart, fresh from her triumph in the eponymous role of Zinnie Harris’ hotly-acclaimed reworking of The Duchess of Malfi, playing alongside George at the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow and Edinburgh Royal Lyceum. Kirsty is a familiar face from Scots murder mystery series, Shetland, playing Morag Dunwoody earlier this year alongside Douglas Henshall, as well as performing in the hit TV series Outlander, and appearing in Call The Midwife, River City and Doctors. Film appearances include Sea of Souls with Bill Patterson and Richard Attenborough’s Closing The Ring.

Described as a masterpiece of one of Ireland’s greatest playwrights, Brian Friel, (Dancing At Lughnasa, Philadelphia, Here I come) Faith Healer is a spell-binding, achingly tender, yet often funny and intensely human, exploration of love, belief and personal sacrifice. Through recollections of their inextricably conjoined life, each sheds shifting shards of light on their characters, Francis’ unreliable ‘gift’, and the events that have lead them to this point.

So, where does truth lie? Is Frank showman, shaman… or charlatan? Or simply an artist, agonisingly trying to pin down the subtle, fleeting nature of his art.

Faith Healer opens Thursday, 17 October, 7.30pm and runs to Sunday, 3 November, followed by a tour of the Highlands and Islands in partnership with Eden Court, Inverness, 5-16 Nov –including Dornoch, Orkney, Ullapool, Skye, Crieff, and Inverness.

To book your tickets, call the Box Office team on 01796 484626 or click here to buy online.

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