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Summer Season 2024 Press Release


Embargoed till 12pm on Monday 18 September


Pitlochry Festival Theatre announces 2024 summer line up

  • Pitlochry Festival Theatre 2024 Summer season to include premières, musicals, opera and two special revivals.
  • Main Auditorium productions to include revivals of the musicals Footloose, co-produced with New Wolsey Theatre and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, the world première of Frances Poet’s new stage adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, co-produced with OVO, and the return of the theatre’s award-winning production of Shirley Valentine.
  • The Studio to stage premières of Harry Mould’s new play The Brenda Line, and a co production with Scotland’s Firebrand Theatre Company in association with Dr Kerri Andrews of Nan Shepherd: Naked and Unashamed.
  • The Theatre’s outside Amphitheatre will see the return of Elizabeth Newman’s acclaimed adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s much loved The Secret Garden, and the Theatre will unite with the Scots Opera Project to produce a Gaelic and Scots Language version of Purcell’s baroque masterpiece, Dido and Aeneas.


Pitlochry Festival Theatre has today announced an exciting line up of world premières, smash-hit musicals, and acclaimed returning productions for its 2024 summer season.

Running from 31 May until 26 September, the 2024 Main Auditorium season will open in style with a stage revival by Pitlochry Festival Theatre and New Wolsey Theatre of Footloose, the much-loved musical sensation celebrating youth, love, and life, based on the iconic 1984 Oscar nominated film starring Kevin Bacon. The production will transfer to the New Wolsey Theatre in October 2024.

In early June, the Theatre will stage the second of its exciting line up of musicals when it stages a new production of the award-winning West End and Broadway musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (7 June-28 September). It tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise from being part of a hit song-writing team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to ultimately becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Beautiful: The Carole King Musical features all her iconic songs including You’ve Got a Friend, One Fine Day, and Natural Woman.

Later in June, the Main Auditorium sees the Theatre team up with OVO to stage the world première of Sense and Sensibility (21 June – 27 September).  Frances Poet’s beautiful new stage adaptation is based on Jane Austen’s iconic and witty novel of secrets and suppression, lies and seduction, which brilliantly portrays a world where rigid social convention clashes with the impulses of the heart. Sense and Sensibility will transfer to the Roman Theatre of St Albans in July and August 2024.

The Main Auditorium will also stage the return of the Theatre’s award -winning production of its 2022 revival of the much-loved comedy Shirley Valentine (4 July-28 September), Willy Russell’s (Blood Brothers and Educating Rita) heart-warming story about a middle-aged, working-class Liverpool housewife whose life is transformed after a holiday in Greece. The production will feature Sally Reid, who will reprise her acclaimed role as Shirley (winner of the Outstanding Performance Award at the 2023 Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland).

The 2024 Studio season will see the première of two exciting new plays. Opening in May will be the Theatre’s co production with Scotland’s Firebrand Theatre Company of Nan Shepherd: Naked and Unashamed (24 May-6 July). This entertaining and moving new play reveals how the iconic Scottish author, teacher, hillwalker, and nature lover helped shape Scotland’s recent literary history, and the mystery of why her masterpiece, The Living Mountain, lay forgotten in a drawer for over 30 years.

In August, the Theatre’s Studio space will also host the world première of Harry Mould’s debut play The Brenda Line (15 August-18 September). Inspired by real-life events in Mould’s mother’s teenage life, as well as the lesser-known history of the Samaritans in the 1970s and 80s, The Brenda Line is a story about women, love, and listening.


The 2024 season will also see two productions in the venue’s picturesque Amphitheatre, nestled within its Explorers Garden and in the shadow of Ben-y-Vrackie, with the return of Elizabeth Newman’s sold-out adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s much-loved classic tale The Secret Garden (12 July-22 August). And the Theatre will unite with the Scots Opera Project to produce a Gaelic and Scots Language version of Purcell’s baroque masterpiece tale of doomed love, Dido and Aeneas (31 August – 15 September), performed by a cast of professional opera singers and the powerful voices of a community company.


Elizabeth Newman, Artistic Director of Pitlochry Festival Theatre said:

“A time to mourn… and there is a time to dance… See, this is our time to dance. It is our way of celebrating life.” 

These words, famously spoken by Kevin Bacon in the 1984 film of Footloose, sit at the very heart of our 2024 Pitlochry Festival Theatre Summer Season. I’m thrilled to share the news that as well as creating a new production of the blockbuster musical Footloose, we will also create a brand-new production of the award-winning musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, which celebrates the life and work of the iconic American singer. This will delight audiences alongside a new adaptation from award-winning Frances Poet of Jane Austen’s witty Sense and Sensibility and a revival of our award-winning 2022 production of Shirley Valentine with Sally Reid returning to give her tour de force performance in the title role. All this work, in its own distinct way, celebrates love and our collective desire to feel music deep in our soul, rhythm to take over our bodies, and our need to connect with the world around us. 

 As well as these contemporary classics we will also produce two new plays in our extraordinary Studio Theatre. We will make Nan Shepherd: Naked and Unashamed about this extraordinary woman who continues to captivate the imagination of many alongside Harry Mould’s debut play The Brenda Line

 In our stunning Amphitheatre we will revive the much-loved production of The Secret Garden from our 2023 Summer Season, and we make a new opera version of Dido and Aeneas with Scots Opera Project. We will also collaborate with New Wolsey Theatre and continue our collaboration with OVO and Firebrand Theatre Company. 

I hope there’s something for everyone in this season from musicals to drama to comedies to opera. We can’t wait to welcome people to Pitlochry to see the fantastic work of our legendary Ensemble and the makers and creators who go on this epic summer journey with us. Hope to see you in Pitlochry in 2024!”


Further information about the casting for the 2024 ensemble and more 2024 production announcements will be made public in the coming months.


Season ticket packages for the 2024 season will go on sale to existing Pitlochry Festival Theatre members on Monday 2 October 2023 and on general sale on Monday 9 October 2023. Individual show tickets will go on general sale from Monday 13 November. For further information on tickets and productions visit or call 01796 484626.




For all press queries please contact:

Duncan Clarke PR: 07880893750 or





Nan Shepherd: Naked and Unashamed –24 May- 6 July- Studio

Footloose – 31 May-26 September– Main Auditorium

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical– 7 June-28 September– Main Auditorium

Sense and Sensibility– 21 Jun-27 September – Main Auditorium

Shirley Valentine – 4 July- 28 September – Main Auditorium

The Secret Garden–12 July-22 August – Amphitheatre

The Brenda Line – 15 August– 18 September– Studio

Dido and Aeneas – 31 August – 15 September – Amphitheatre



Beautiful – The Carole King Musical– 12 June at 2pm– Main Auditorium

Nan Shepherd: Naked and Unashamed – 12 June at 8pm – Studio

Footloose – 14 June at 7pm– Main Auditorium

Sense and Sensibility – 26 June at 2pm – Main Auditorium

Shirley Valentine – 10 July at 2pm Main Auditorium

The Secret Garden – 13/18 July at 2pm Amphitheatre

The Brenda Line –21 August at 2.30pm– Studio

Dido and Aeneas – 31 August at 5pm – Amphitheatre


2024 Pitlochry Festival Theatre Listings


 24 May – 6 July


Firebrand Theatre Company in co-production with Pitlochry Festival Theatre and in association with Dr Kerri Andrews present


by Richard Baron and Ellie Zeegen

Following the success of their podcast series A Journey with Nan Shepherd, award-winning Firebrand’s richly entertaining, funny, and moving new play uncovers the extraordinary, unconventional woman behind the glamorous portrait on the Scottish five-pound note. Directed by Richard Baron (ChicagoHeritageThe Last Witch), the play reveals the untold story of how Nan Shepherd’s experiences as author, teacher, hillwalker, and lover helped shape Scotland’s recent literary history and the mystery of why her ground-breaking masterpiece, The Living Mountain, lay forgotten in a drawer for over 30 years.

 Eve perf at 8pm:

May:  24 & 25

June: 6, 12, 26 & 29

Mat perf at 2.30pm:

June: 15

July: 6


31 May- 26 September


Pitlochry Festival Theatre and New Wolsey Theatre co-production



Based on the Original Screenplay by Dean Pitchford

Music by TOM SNOW



Footloose is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals Ltd.

Footloose is the story of a teenage boy from Chicago, who moves to a small farming town with strict local laws that include a ban on dancing by the local preacher. Together with the Reverend’s rebellious daughter, the teenagers change the minds and hearts of the town as well as help it to heal from a tragedy that affected them all.

Eve perf at 7.30pm:

May: 31

June: 1, 13, 14 & 28

July: 13, 16, 24 & 30

August: 2, 3, 7, 20, 21 & 28

September: 5, 10, 17, 21 & 25

Mat perf at 2pm:

June: 13, 29

July: 17, 25

August: 8, 29

September: 6, 11, 22 & 26



7 June-28 September


Pitlochry Festival Theatre production


Words and Music by Gerry Goffin & Carole King, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil

Music by Arrangement with Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Orchestrations, Vocal and Incidental Music Arrangements Steve Sidwell
Presented by arrangement with Music Theatre International

Carole King, the chart-topping music legend, was an ordinary girl with extraordinary talent. She fought her way into the record industry and sold her first hit, ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow,’ when she was just seventeen. Her greatest challenge was to find her own voice. Beautiful is the untold story of Carole King’s journey from schoolgirl to superstar.

Eve perf at 7.30pm

June: 7, 8, 11 & 27

July: 11, 17, 25, 26 & 31

August: 6, 24 & 29

September: 6, 13, 18, 24 & 28

Mat perf at 2pm

June: 12

August: 1 & 25

September: 7, 14, 19 & 25


21 June- 27 September


Pitlochry Festival Theatre and OVO co-production


By Jane Austen

Adapted by Frances Poet

Sense & Sensibility is the story of two sisters, Elinor, and Marianne Dashwood. After their father dies, they are forced to leave their family estate and move to a cottage in rural Devonshire. Here, the sisters experience love, romance, and heartbreak in different ways according to their characters; Elinor pragmatic and Marianne led by her emotions.

Eve perf at 7.30pm

June: 21, 22 & 25

July: 12, 18, 23 & 27

August: 1, 8, 9, 23 & 30

September: 4, 14, 19 & 26

Mat perf at 2pm

June: 26 & 27

July: 24

August: 24 & 31

September: 5, 20 & 27



4 July – 28 September


Pitlochry Festival Theatre production


By Willy Russell

Shirley Valentine is a celebration of what it means to find yourself again. Shirley is a bored, middle-aged woman. Her children are all grown up and she’s stuck at home with only the kitchen wall to talk to. She seizes the opportunity to travel to Greece where she discovers the happiness she has been missing and faces a big decision.

Sally Reid received an Outstanding Performance award for her role in Shirley Valentine from the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland 2023.

Eve perf at 7.30pm:

July: 4, 5, 9 & 20

August: 22 & 27

September: 3, 12, 20 & 27

Mat perf at 2pm:

July: 10 & 21

August: 23 & 28

September: 4, 13, 21 & 28


12 July – 22 August


Pitlochry Festival Theatre production


By Frances Hodgson Burnett

Adapted by Elizabeth Newman

When orphaned Mary Lennox comes to live at her uncle’s great house on the Yorkshire Moors, she finds it full of secrets. The mansion has many rooms, and at night, she hears crying down one of the long corridors. She tracks it down to her cousin Colin, who has spent his entire life in bed, unable to walk.

One day, Mary finds a key that leads her to a garden held locked for years and which is completely overgrown. Mary and her friend Dickon nurse the garden into life, bringing joy back to the house and those living there.

Elizabeth Newman’s delightful adaptation is set in the Theatre’s beautiful Amphitheatre.

Afternoon perf at 2pm:

July: 12, 13, 18, 20, 27 & 31

August: 3, 7, 10, 17 & 22



15 August – 18 September


Pitlochry Festival Theatre production


By Harry Mould

It’s early evening in a middle-of-nowhere town when Karen walks into a call centre to begin her first night shift as the youngest Samaritan in the country. She’s decided she needs to help people, and maybe write a best-selling novel in the process, but what she hadn’t expected was Anne – her elderly shift partner, and the evening’s resident ‘Brenda’…

Inspired by real-life events in their mother’s teenage life, as well as the lesser-known history of the Samaritans in the 1970s and 80s, The Brenda Line is a story about women, love, and listening.

The Brenda Line is the debut play from Harry Mould.

Eve perf at 8pm:

August: 15, 16 & 31

September: 7

Mat perf at 2.30pm:

August: 21

September: 12 & 18


31 August – 15 September


Pitlochry Festival Theatre and The Scots Opera Project co-production


Scots Translation Dr Michael Dempster

Gaelic Translation Marcus Mac an Tuairneir

Composer Henry Purcell

Libretto Nahum Tate

Dido, the queen of Carthage, falls in love with Aeneas, the Trojan prince, after offering him a safe harbour on his journey home. Dido wrestles with her feelings for him and her duties as queen. Encouraged by her sister Belinda, she accepts Aeneas’s marriage proposal.

Tragically, a sorceress plots to separate them by summoning a great storm. She tricks Aeneas into returning home, forsaking Dido who dies from heartbreak.

An innovative Scots and Gaelic language production. Dido and Aeneas packs vibrant, insistent drama into a moving interpretation of the opera.

Afternoon perf at 1pm

August: 31,

September: 1, 7, 8, 14 & 15

Early evening perf at 5pm

August: 31

September: 7 & 14


Pitlochry Festival Theatre. A Theatre for Everyone. A Theatre for a Lifetime.

Since 1951, Pitlochry Festival Theatre has been the artistic heart and soul of Highland Perthshire. Attracting over 100,000 visitors every year, we are more than simply a place to see a show – we are Scotland’s leading producer of musical theatre, a champion of ensemble practice and the country’s only rurally-located, major arts organisation. Our vision is to improve lives by sharing Pitlochry with the world and the world with Pitlochry, and our aim is to create life-enhancing experiences in our Theatre its and environment – a glorious eleven-acre campus that encompasses the magical Explorers Garden. In everything we do, we are committed to nurturing an exciting creative and cultural future for Scotland.

Pitlochry Festival Theatre is supported by funding from Creative Scotland and Perth & Kinross Council. It is also grateful to the many individual donors, trusts and foundations who continue to support the Theatre in its vision.


Pitlochry Festival Theatre is supported by the following organisations: