Category Archives: What’s on MAY

NEWS: Pitlochry Festival Theatre to open 2023 Season with new production of the much-loved musical Gypsy

Pitlochry Festival Theatre is set to open its exciting 2023 Season in May in a most spectacular way with the first staging in Scotland for nearly 20 years of Gypsy, Jule Styne, Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim’s iconic musical.

Pitlochry Festival Theatre – 2023 Cast.

Gypsy is one of the greatest and most dazzling of all musicals. Based on the tantalising comedic memoirs of famous striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee, it tells the amusing and sassy story of pushy showbiz mother Rose, who travels across America with her daughters, Baby June and Louise, in search of success with their homemade vaudeville act.

When Baby June leaves the act to elope, Rose vows to make introverted Louise into a star, and will do almost anything to see her daughter break into the big time.

Featuring the iconic songs Some PeopleLet Me Entertain You, and the show-stopping Everything’s Coming Up Roses, Gypsy is set to be a cracking night out that will have audiences humming all the way into the night as they leave the theatre.

Gypsy’s exciting cast will feature Shona White (Jack Absolute Flies Again, National Theatre, Mamma Mia!, West End and Merrily We Roll Along, Donmar Warehouse) as Mamma Rose; Blythe Jandoo (The Maggie Wall and Sunshine on Leith, Pitlochry Festival Theatre and A Mother’s Song: A New Folk Musical, Macrobert Arts Centre) as Louise; Patricia Panther (Peter Pan and Wendy, Pitlochry Festival Theatre and Orphans and Glasgow Girls, National Theatre of Scotland) as June; Ben Stock (Grease and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, West End) as Herbie; Oliver Cookson (Hay Fever and Travels with my Aunt, Assembly Roxy) as Pop Rose/Mr Goldstone); Matthew Churcher (Animal Farm, National Tour/Fiery Angel & Birmingham Rep, Peter Pan, National Theatre/Bristol Old Vic and White Teeth, Kiln Theatre) as LA/Cigar; Rachael McAllister (Little Women and A Christmas Carol, Pitlochry Festival Theatre) as Mazeppa; Robbie Scott (Peter Pan and Wendy, Pitlochry Festival Theatre) as Tulsa; Joseph Tweedale (The Meaning of Zong, Bristol Old Vic and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Theatre Clwyd) as Yonkers/Weber; Jack Ward (Bridgerton, Netflix) as Angie; Trudy Ward (As You Like It, Jupiter Theatre) as Electra/ Agnes, and Kristin Weichen Wong (Field- Something For The Future Now, Edinburgh International Festival) as Tessie Tura.

Gypsy is directed by Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s Associate Director Ben Occhipinti (Blonde Bombshells in 1943 and co-director Sunshine on Leith, Pitlochry Festival Theatre), Designed by Liz Cooke, lighting by Kate Bonney, Musical Direction by Rob Hiley (CATS nominated for Blonde Bombshells in 1943), Choreography by Maggie Rawlinson and Sound Design by Lorna Munden.

Ben Occhipinti said:

“Gypsy is one of the most loved and powerful musicals ever written. I have wanted to direct it ever since I discovered the film years ago. I can’t think of another musical that brings the combined elements of drama, song and dance together in such a clear and joyful way. The combination of Sondheim’s exquisite lyrics and Styne’s beautiful melodies make Gypsy an enduring, powerful story. I can’t wait to bring it to life on the Pitlochry stage with such a talented and brilliant company.”

Gypsy runs at Pitlochry Festival Theatre from 19 May till 30 September.

Tickets for Gypsy are now on sale and are available from the Pitlochry Festival Theatre Box Office on 01796 484626 or online at www.pitlochryfestivaltheatre.com

 

NEWS: SCOTTISH OPERA TRAVELS SCOTLAND WITH POP-UP OPERA TOUR

This summer Scottish Opera’s popular Pop-up Opera tour kicks off on 27 May at the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival, with 30 minute shows for all the family, including A Little Bit of… Die Fledermaus and A Little Bit of… Eugene Onegin.

An ideal opportunity for anyone new to opera to try a taster of these classics, a series of colourful illustrations help guide audiences through the plot. Cleverly re-scored by Scottish Opera’s Head of Music, Derek Clark, the stories are brought to life by storyteller Allan Dunn, along with singers Jessica Leary and Andrew McTaggart, and cellist Andrew Drummond Huggan, guitarists Sasha Savaloni and Ian Watt.

 

Scottish Opera’s Director of Outreach & Education, Jane Davidson, said: ‘This year, the Pop-up Opera company are coming off their trailer and back inside schools and community halls across the country, with a blend of weekday visits to primary schools and week-end performances in public venues. Travel is still very much at the heart of our programme, introducing primary pupils to the adventures of a very small boat with a very big heart as Puffy MacPuffer sets sail on the Scottish canal network from Inverness to Crinan and from Grangemouth to Glasgow.

‘For older audiences, it’s time travel, as we journey back to the last decades of the nineteenth century with two contrasting love stories. Will it be the doomed love affair of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin or perhaps a glass of champagne with the original Batman— better known as Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss II. The magic of time travel makes it possible to catch both in one afternoon!’

Scottish Opera’s General Director, Alex Reedijk said: ‘Pop-up Opera is at the heart of what we do as a company, bringing opera to as many people as possible no matter their geographical location, ensuring everyone can enjoy a live musical experience.

‘During the pandemic, Pop-up Opera highlighted the importance of our national touring profile as it allowed local venues, whilst unable to open their doors, to facilitate our live performances in their carparks and open spaces. Between 2020 and 2021 we presented 246 sold out Pop-up performances to communities across Scotland, which attracted an audience of over 13,000. For many, it was the first time they had come to a live show since 2019, many braving wind and rain to attend.

‘Therefore, it is with great joy that we are back on the road as we continue our commitment to tour to communities across Scotland, with these bite-size productions offering an excellent introduction to opera, this time in schools and local venues.’

Strauss’s Die Fledermaus (The Bat) is a rip-roaring comedy filled with deceit, betrayal, and Viennese waltzes. At Prince Orlofsky’s New Year’s Eve party, Dr Falke is out for playful revenge on his friend Eisenstein, who once left him in a drunken stupor after a night out at a fancy dress ball. Left to stagger home alone the next morning, still in his bat costume, the locals laughed behind Dr Falke’s back, but now is his chance for payback. Falke plots to expose Eisenstein’s flirtatious ways to his wife Rosalinde, who is disguised as a Hungarian countess. The end result is hilarity – and lots of champagne.

 

Also on offer is Tchaikovsky’s sweeping music which perfectly captures the desperation and raw emotion of Pushkin’s much-loved masterpiece, Eugene Onegin. In this timeless story of first love and missed opportunities, the lovesick young Tatyana sends a heartfelt letter to the young, handsome neighbour who recently moved next door. However, the arrogant Eugene thoughtlessly spurns her affections. After a heart-stopping duel between friends and the passing of many years, perhaps there is a second chance for love.

Created specifically for five to eight year olds, with music & songs by Marion ChristiePuffy MacPuffer and the Crabbit Canals is a tale of the five waterways that link Scotland from the North Sea to the Atlantic. Like most families, each one is different: Caledonian – the longest; Crinan – the most beautiful; Monklands – hard working; Union – the fastest; and of course the wise old Forth & Clyde. Each one thinks they’re the best. Can an ordinary little puffer boat make them think again?

Tickets are on sale at https://www.scottishopera.org.uk/shows/pop-up-opera-2023/ from 23 March.

Dates and locations of the tour are listed below.

www.scottishopera.org.uk

You can follow Scottish Opera on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @ScottishOpera

Cast

 

Storyteller                                  Allan Dunn  

Soprano                                    Jessica Leary  

Baritone                                    Andrew McTaggart  

Cello                                         Andrew Drummond Huggan  

Guitar                                        Sasha Savaloni / Ian Watt

 

With Illustrations by Mar HernandezEssi Kimpimäki and Iain Piercy

 

Performance Diary

A’ the Airts Community Arts Centre, Sanquhar

Saturday  27 May, 1pm & 3pm

 

Glencairn Memorial Institute, Moniaive

Sunday 28 May, 1pm & 3pm

 

Linlithgow Burgh Halls

Saturday 3 June, 12pm & 2pm

 

David Livingstone Birthplace, Blantyre

Sunday 4 June, 12pm, 2pm & 4pm

 

Springburn Auditorium

Sunday 11 June, 12pm, 2pm & 4pm

 

An Lanntair, Stornoway

Saturday 17 June, 2pm & 4pm

 

West Church Hall, Dornoch

Saturday 24 June, 2pm & 4pm

 

Strathpeffer Pavillion

Sunday 25 June, 2pm & 4pm

 

Little Theatre Dundee

Sunday 2 July 2pm & 4pm