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Click HERE for your summer 2023 diary of fantastic productions!

Winter Words 2023

A typewriter ribbon wuth the words stories matter typed on a sheet of paper

Welcome to the Winter Words Festival 2023
– a fantastic four-day celebration of all things artistic and literary.

We are thrilled to announce our nineteenth Winter Words Festival for 2023, running from 9-12 February back in person again after being online for the past two years.

Tickets are on sale online and by calling Box Office on 01796 484626 and your Programme is HERE.

*Please note that the Theatre is closed for maintenance and team training until 1 Wednesday 1 February at 10am.


Over the four days of the Festival, Pitlochry Festival Theatre will host an exciting programme of events, including stimulating and entertaining conversations, presentations and performances by and with, some of Scotland’s best-known and well-loved authors, playwrights, poets, adventurers, broadcasters and TV personalities, in both our Auditorium and our beautiful new Studio Theatre:

Ricky Ross, Scottish singer and frontman of Deacon Blue talks about his fascinating memoir, Walking Back Home, which charts his path from a rollercoaster childhood to playing at Wembley Arena and beyond.

Scottish poet, playwright, translator and broadcaster Liz Lochhead and actor and writer Nicola Roy will be in conversation about words, work and women and a lot more besides.

Crime writer and broadcaster Denise Mina in conversation with playwright David Greig about her new novel Confidence, an exhilarating thriller revolving around vanished filmmakers, international art smuggling and religious fanaticism.

Five local poets read extracts from Perthshire 101, a poetic tour round Perth and Kinross inspired by the geography, history, people and cultural icons of the region, in a fast-moving poetry show.

Actors Sophia McLean and David Rankine deliver a live play-reading of A Journey with Nan Shepherd by the award-winning Firebrand Theatre Company, about Nan Shepherd’s fascinating life and literary times based on Dr Kerri Andrews’ The Correspondence of Nan Shepherd, 1920-1980.

Two of the Highland Book Prize long-listed authors; Amanda Thomson, author of Belonging: Natural Histories of Place, Identity and Home and Jim Crumley, author of Seasons of Storm and Wonder – talk about how the Scottish landscape and nature inspire their writing.

Lesley Hart talks about her exciting stage adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1887 classic Sherlock Holmes adventure A Study in Scarlet, with extracts performed by Deirdre Davis.

Lesley is an award-winning playwright and writer, and her recent credits include Anna Karenina (Lyceum/Bristol Old Vic), Safe Keeping (Paines Plough), and World Domination (A Play, A Pie & A Pint/Sherman Theatre).  As an actor, Lesley appears as a regular character in BBC Scotland’s long-running soap, River City.

Deirdre Davis has worked for many Scottish theatre companies and performs regularly at Pitlochry Festival Theatre. She has appeared in films and TV shows and spent 14 years playing Eileen Donachie in River City.

Writer, critic, broadcaster and stand-up comedian Viv Groskop hosts a lively conversation about Chekhov and why his writing is still relevant today, including a performance by Ali Watt of About Love, a play adapted from Chekhov’s short story by Elizabeth Newman.

Paul Murton, the BBC Scotland documentary filmmaker, talks about his new book The Highlands and his journey across the length and breadth of this spectacularly beautiful part of Scotland.

Brothers Alan and Colin McCredie share their lives in the arts as a photographer and an actor.

Award-winning journalist and author Chitra Ramaswamy talks about her latest book, Homelands: The History of a Friendship, a work of creative non-fiction exploring her friendship with a 98-year-old German Jewish refugee. This won the Saltire Non-Fiction Book of the Year and was included in The Guardian’s top memoirs and biographies of 2022.

Ben Aitken introduces us to his warm, witty and candid books, The Gran Tour: Travels with my Elders, and The Marmalade Diaries.

Rosemary Goring, journalist, editor, writer, and currently a columnist with The Herald, talks about her new book, Homecoming: The Scottish Years of Mary, Queen of Scots, which narrates the story of Mary’s Scottish years.

Ian Bradley, broadcaster, journalist, lecturer, Church of Scotland minister and author of over 40 books, takes us on an intriguing journey in The Coffin Roads, to explore the distinctive traditions, beliefs and practices around dying, death and mourning in the communities which created and used these roads.

Louise Welsh, award-winning author of eight novels and Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow, introduces us to The Second Cut, her stylish, atmospheric detective story, Shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize 2022.

Alastair McIntosh, a frequent BBC broadcaster and Honorary Professor at the University of Glasgow takes us all on a Poacher’s Pilgrimage: a Journey into Land and Soul.

Join ancient history specialists Nick Evans and Gordon Noble to hear about The Picts in detail – their archaeology and history, their kingdoms, culture, beliefs and everyday lives from origins to end.

Dr Kerri Andrews writes about women and walking. Her fascinating book Wanderers – A History of Women Walking offers a beguiling view of the history of walking and guides us through the different ways of seeing – of being – articulated by amazing pathfinding women

Alistair Moffat, in his book Islands of the Evening: Journeys to the Edge of the World, travels by foot, boat and ferry in search of the Irish saints who, fourteen centuries ago, brought the Word of God to the Hebrides and Scotland’s Atlantic shore.

Colin Liddell takes audiences on a jaunt through the first 70 years of Pitlochry Festival Theatre.

The Winter Words Festival also includes Banff Mountain Film Festival and The Makings of a Murderer. 


We have a ‘four for three’ multibuy offer over the Festival – if you buy tickets for three events, you can go to another one free of charge; and there is a special rate for all events for members.

We look forward to seeing you there!