15 February, 2019

Poetry and Sax close Valentine’s Winter Words Launch Day

The 15th annual Winter Words Festival kicked off a fantastic first day at Pitlochry Festival Theatre on Thursday, and one of Scotland’s best-loved treasures, former National Poet of Scotland and recipient of the Queens Gold medal for Poetry, Liz Lochhead, brought Valentine’s day to suitable closure with an event of poetry, performance and sax: bittersweet, polemical, comical, in-character monologues and theatre pieces, along with bluesy, soulful and playful musicianship from Steve Kettley.

Ahead of their headline session in the evening, Liz and Steve took time out to meet with Artistic Director, Elizabeth Newman at her first Winter Words. The festival provides an important boost to the Perthshire economy at this time of year with many visitors seeing multiple events over several days of the four-day festival.

As one happy visitor, posted with their selection of tickets, “What a year round joy it is to have Pitlochry Festival Theatre just down the road. Great theatre, visiting concerts and Winter Words. Was hard whittling down the list into the working days but I think we’ve a good mix coming up!”

Winter Words continues apace through to Sunday, with appearances from forensic anthropologist and anatomist, Professor Dame Sue Black, and Dr Richard Shepherd, the UK's foremost forensic pathologist involved in some of the most high-profile cases of recent times. They discuss their lives, their work and what happens when those lines blur. Jonny Muir, successful hill- and fell-runner, Penny Junor, Royal Biographer, journalist and TV presenter, take us through Saturday, to the evening when former Bishop of Edinburgh, Richard Holloway, well known for his support of progressive causes, invites us to reconsider life’s greatest mystery through his radical and moving book, Waiting For The Last Bus. And to close, BBC presenter, archaeologist, author and historian, Neil Oliver gives his personal account of what makes these islands so special - told through places which have witnessed the unfolding of our history - in The Story Of The British Isles in 100 Places.

Sunday brings a smörgasbord of literary dishes, including Highland Correspondent of The Herald, David Ross, James Crawford giving a glorious bird’s-eye view of Scotland From The Sky, Senior Map curator in the National Library of Scotland, Christopher Fleet exploring the extraordinarily rich legacy of the Scottish Military through rare maps, while best friends and television presenters, Nadia Sawalha and Kaye Adams, well-known panellists on daytime chat show, Loose Women, explain how Nadia brings her celebrity Masterchef experience to bear on Kaye’s ability to burn water, with easy fail-proof recipes and how not to be a Disaster Chef!

Catch Lin Anderson, creator of the Rhona MacLeod series of crime thriller novels and co-founder of Bloody Scotland, the annual crime-writing festival, and Denise Mina, critically acclaimed and award-winning crime-writer, talking with James Crawford to expose the gripping, chilling and potentially lethal iconic sites of the nation. And finally, on Sunday evening, conservation photographer, Peter Cairns leads the call for a new vision of a wilder Scotland – regenerating forest life and vegetation with extensive wetlands and rebirthed ecology: rewilding to a place where nature works as it should and crucially, where people prosper.

To get your hands on last minute tickets:
Call Pitlochry Festival Theatre Box Office Team on 01796 484626 or click here to book online.

Photo from left to right: Liz Lochhead, Steve Kettley, Elizabeth Newman

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