Pitlochry Festival Theatre redevelopment sketch

Vision 2021 – Pitlochry Festival Theatre submits plans for second performance space

Since its birth in a tent in 1951, Pitlochry Festival Theatre has evolved continuously to suit the changing needs of its patrons and the times and to to further develop John Stewart’s legacy

In October 2020, Pitlochry Festival Theatre has submitted a planning application to Perth and Kinross Council for the creation of a second performance space and an extension to the Theatre’s front of house area.

The second performance space will be created within the existing building to form an accessible 175-seat studio, which will provide a flexible additional space to showcase new writing and touring productions from across Scotland and UK, whilst also broadening the Theatre’s already-strong artistic programme.

With this work, Pitlochry Festival Theatre aims to invest in its future for both existing and new audiences, drawn as now, from all over the UK, to support and create jobs, and to engage with a wider range of artists from all over Scotland and the UK.

Announcing the plans, Colin Liddell, Chair of Pitlochry Festival Theatre said:

“Whilst Covid-19 is a major challenge for everyone involved in theatre, it provides an unexpected opportunity for us to accelerate our redevelopment plans so that the Theatre becomes a beacon of hope and provides a symbolic vision of what culture can provide in a post-Covid world.

“This work is funded by Dunard Fund and Gannochy Trust, whose charitable support I am delighted to acknowledge. Their generous funding to us forms part of our Theatre’s match-funding of the £10m capital funding committed to the Theatre through the Tay Cities Deal.

Plans for the new studio space and front of house extension have been designed and prepared by Susie Bridges Architects, a specialist in refurbishing theatres, whose previous projects have included Victoria Palace Theatre, Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and Cast, Doncaster.

Kris Bryce, Executive Director at Pitlochry Festival Theatre said:

“I’m delighted that we’ve reached this milestone. Our capital project has been developed over a number of years as part of the Tay Cities Deal. By investing in this work, at a time when theatres have been forced to close, we’re sending a clear message that we believe in the future of our Theatre, of the region, and the jobs which we support.”

Elizabeth Newman, Artistic Director of Pitlochry Festival Theatre added:

“We are excited to share our plans to grow the Theatre. At such a critical time for theatres all over the UK, we know it’s important to make positive plans in Pitlochry and to focus our attention on the future and towards a time where we can serve more audiences and artists from across Scotland.

“We pride ourselves on being a theatre that grows three things – plays, plants and people. This project will help us continue this mission and to be a true theatre for a lifetime, sharing Pitlochry with the world and the world with Pitlochry.”

If approved, it is expected that the new studio space at Pitlochry Festival Theatre will open to the public in May 2021, to help celebrate the 70th anniversary of Scotland’s ‘Theatre in the Hills’ and the start of the Summer 2021 season.

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