Tag Archives: Pitlochry Festival Theatre

NEWS: Pitlochry Festival Theatre to celebrate the best of Mozart and Italian opera

Scottish operatic stars, Katie Grosset and Colleen Nicoll, are set to captivate opera fans next week with four days of the best of Mozart and Italian opera, performed beside the River Tummel in the picturesque grounds of Pitlochry Festival Theatre.

Between 17-20 June, audiences will have the opportunity to relax and float away to the magnificent sounds of one of the greatest and most influential classical composers of all time – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Around the three Mozart concerts, Katie Grosset and Colleen Nicoll will thrill audiences, with three unforgettable performances of Italian opera, featuring the works of PucciniVerdiVivaldiPonchielliRossini and Giordani and more, with something for everyone – from opera first-timers to consummate opera gurus.

Perthshire soprano, Colleen Nicoll has performed roles in numerous operatic productions including the title role in Handel’s Semele, Titania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Britten), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro – Mozart), Diana (Actéon– Charpentier), Yum (The Mikado – Gilbert and Sullivan), Giannetta (L’elisir d’amore – Donizetti), Lady Dunmow (A Dinner Engagement – Lenox Berkeley), Galatea (Acis and Galatea – Handel).

She sang the role of Titania in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Minack Theatre, including a special performance for HRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. Colleen recently made two role debuts as Queen of the Night and Dido with the Scots Opera project, in world premières of new Scots Language translations of Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.

 

Colleen Nicholl said:

“Growing up in Dunkeld I enjoyed many shows at Pitlochry Festival Theatre. When I was about 10 years old, I entered a competition to write a review of a play. I won the competition, and the prize was a backstage tour of the theatre. I was so excited and loved learning how it all worked behind the scenes! I also got to read my review out on the local radio station, and I remember telling the producer at the time that one day they would be able to see me perform at that theatre… and here we are, I kept my promise! 

 

It is a wonderful feeling performing to a ‘home crowd’ and I am delighted to be working with such a fantastic team and to be performing alongside Katie.”

 

Scottish mezzo-soprano, Katie Grosset trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Opera Studio Vlaanderen and at the National Opera Studio in London. Highlights in recent seasons include Mother Vixen in Fox-tot, Mezzo soloist in The Opera Factory and The 8th Door (Scottish Opera); Nightingale in The Nightingale and the Rose (Pegasus Opera); Olga in Eugene Onegin for Opera Bohemia; Roméo I Capuleti e i Montecchi for Pop-Up Opera; Second Lady in The Magic Flute for St John Opera; Shoushan in Tchouhadjian’s Gariné at Grimeborn; and Mercédès in Carmen for Nevill Holt Opera. Other notable engagements include Flora and Annina in La Traviata, Third Witch in Macbeth, Edith in The Pirates of Penzance, and the Opera Highlights Tour (Scottish Opera); and the title role in Xerxes (Byre Opera).

Katie Grosset said:

Having toured Scotland very extensively, weirdly, I have actually never had the opportunity to perform in the beautiful town of Pitlochry. Having enjoyed many performances here as an audience member, I’m excited to be singing here with the incredibly talented Colleen.”

An Afternoon/Evening Celebrating Mozart will be performed on 17 and 20 June at 2pm and in the evening of 19 June at 7.30pm. An Afternoon/Evening at the Italian Opera will take place on 18 and 19 June at 2pm and in the evening of 20th June 7.30pm.

 

Tickets are priced from £18-£25. Capacity is limited for a safe, socially distanced, outdoor event.

 

Pitlochry Festival Theatre is keeping things flexible so audiences can too. They will honour no-hassle refunds and exchanges for any reason (including the weather!) if it is requested at least 24 hours before the performance time. So, audiences can book for summer with the confidence, that if plans change, their tickets and money can too!

Listings

An Afternoon Celebrating Mozart – 17 & 20 June at 2pm

An Evening Celebrating Mozart – 19 June at 7.30pm.

An Afternoon at the Italian Opera will take place on 18 & 19 June at 2pm

An Evening at the Italian Opera –20 June at 7.30pm

Bandstand, Pitlochry Festival Theatre

Box office and enquiries: boxoffice@pitlochryfestivaltheatre.com

Web: www.pitlochryfestivaltheatre.com

Programme

MOZART

DUET Prendero quel brunettino (Cosi)

Smanie Implacabili (Cosi)

Deh Vieni (Figaro)

Svegliatevi nel core (Cesare)

Lascia (Rinaldo)

Voi Che Sapete (Figaro)

Vedrai (Don G)

DUET Laci Darem (Don G)

 

INTERVAL

 

Queen of the Night (Flute)

Iris Hence Away (Semele)

Endless Pleasure (Semele)

Ombra Mai Fu (Xerxes)

S’altro che lacrime (Tito)

Torna di Tito (Tito)

DUET Ah Perdona il primo affetto (Tito)

 

ITALIAN OPERA

DUET Barcarolle 3min 40

Habanera (Carmen) 3 min

Quando m’en vo (Boheme) 2 min

Voce di Donna (La Gioconda) 3 mins

Sa per vorreste (Ballo) 2 mins 20

Seguidilla (Carmen)

Countess aria (Figaro) 2 mins

Laci Darem (Don G) 3 min 15

 

INTERVAL

 

Laudamus Te (Gloria)

A Quel Diner (La Perichole) 1 min 10

Cruda Sorte (L’Italiana) 4 min 50

Caro Mio Ben 3 min

En Vain Pour Eviter (Carmen) 3min 30

O Mio Babbino Caro (Gianni Schicci) 2 min

DUET Ah Perdona (Tito) 3 min 10

DUET Rossini Cat duet 3 min 10

For further information and tickets visit www.pitlochryfestivaltheatre.com

 

NEWS: Jane McCarry & Colin McCredie to star in new outdoor production of The Wind in the Willows

Take a jaunt down to the banks of the River Tummel and join Mr. Toad, Mole, Ratty and Badger on their magical adventures in Pitlochry Festival Theatre must-see, family, summer stage production of Kenneth Grahame’s enduring story of friendship, courage, consequence, and bravery – The Wind in the Willows.

Adapted for the stage by Mark Powell and performed in the spectacular setting of the banks of the River Tummel, The Wind in the Willows, runs from 2 July – 12 September.

When Mole wakes up after a particularly long winter, the whole world has changed around her. The riverbank seems to be bursting with new faces, fads, and fears. Luckily for Mole, with new friends like Rat, Badger and Mr Toad motoring along for the ride through the Wild Wood, life will never be sleepy again!

Playwright Mark Powell said:

“It’s been a treat spending lockdown with Mole and her friends and working out how to celebrate their classic adventure in a contemporary way. Knowing that audiences are also coming out of hibernation to join the animals on an actual riverbank will give our Willows an extra special sense of celebration!” 

Directors Elizabeth Newman and Ben Occhipinti added.

 “We think it is safe to say The Wind in the Willows by the brilliant Scottish novelist Kenneth Grahame, is one of the most loved family stories ever to be told, and retold. The characters have captivated audiences in theatres, on our screens and through the radio for many, many decades. As soon as we started pondering making work outdoors, it felt like we almost had to do The Wind in the Willows. After all, our beautiful Theatre sits on a Riverbank. As soon as we decided to tell this story, we leapt to commission the wonderful Mark Powell to write the adaptation. Some of the finest work we have seen made for families has been led by Mark. His humour, his love of life, his love of people – little and big – shines in everything he writes. 

We also felt producing The Wind in the Willows would give us a brilliant opportunity to continue to connect with new and established audiences we reached during the festive period when we made The Magic of Christmas.  As we have said, people love the story and right now it feels vital that PFT creates work for people of all ages to come together and experience a fantastic tale that makes them laugh and offers them a truly joyful afternoon or evening on the Riverbank! 

Audiences can expect all their favourite characters, new music and songs, dancing and Mr Toad exclaiming gleefully ‘Poop! Poop!’ from his motorcar for everyone in Highland Perthshire to hear.”

The production’s exciting cast will feature Jane McCarry (Isa Drennan in Still Game, BBC Scotland, and Granny Murray in Me Too! CBBC) as Badger; Colin McCredie (Taggart, ITV and River City , BBC Scotland) as Toad; Alicia McKenzie (Quality Street, Northern Broadsides and Blonde Bombshells of 1943, Pitlochry Festival Theatre) as Mole; Ali Watt (A Christmas Carol, Pitlochry Festival Theatre) as Ratty; Richard Colvin (Sunshine on Leith, UK tour and A Christmas Carol, Octagon Theatre Bolton) as Weasel; Connor Going (Footloose, UK tour and The Choir of Men, US and Australia tour) as Otter and Kate Milner-Evans (Phantom of the Opera, Her Majesty’s Theatre and Crazy for You, Jamie Wilson Productions) as Rabbit. All other roles will be played by the cast.

Co-directed by Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s Artistic Director, Elizabeth Newman (Adventures with the Painted People and Faith Healer, Pitlochry Festival Theatre) and Associate Director, Ben Occhipinti (Blonde Bombshells of 1943 and Summer Holiday, Pitlochry Festival Theatre), The Wind in the Willows promises to be a real family treat this summer.

Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s determination to keep capacity safely reduced, and committed adherence to social-distances, reduces the potential for, and impact of, crowded spaces and any overwhelming busy-ness. The late, light nights of the Scottish summertime mean shows will never be in darkness and any chatter or loud sounds will be mitigated naturally by the outdoor acoustics. Anyone that feels the need to take some time out of a Riverside show can do so, and then return when they feel ready. The outdoor spacious setting in the Bandstand area allows the ability to move around more freely – and in the Amphitheatre at the interval, there is a beautiful setting to get some space if needed. Staff will always be on-hand wearing a name badge for any questions or help needed.

Pitlochry Festival Theatre is keeping things flexible so audiences can be too. They will honour no-hassle refunds and exchanges for any reason (including the weather!) if it is requested at least 24 hours before the performance time. So, audiences can book for summer with the confidence that if plans change, their tickets and money can too!

Tickets for The Wind in the Willows are priced from £9-£19. To book and for further information visit  www.pitlochryfestivaltheatre.com or call 01796 484626.

 

REVIEW: Communicating Doors by Alan Ayckbourn, Pitlochry Festival Theatre

This was meant to be The 39 Steps – however due to the indisposition of one of the actors due to an eye injury ( I’d like to imagine the understudy punched him to get the lead role) this was, at the last minute, switched to Alan Ayckbourn’s time travelling comedy drama Communicating Doors.

Three women. One hotel suite. In 1992, one is on her honeymoon night. In 2012, one is about to be murdered. In 2032, one discovers that a communicating door holds the key to all their destinies . . .

When Poopay, a self-styled ‘Specialist Sexual Consultant’, is summoned to a five star hotel, it transpires that her elderly client isn’t interested in her usual services. Instead, the conscience-stricken Reece wants her to witness his dying confession: that many years before, he employed his business associate, Julian, to murder his two wives.

When he learns of the confession, the deranged Julian decides that Poopay must be silenced permanently. Terrified, Poopay flees through the communicating door, only to find that it leads not into an adjacent room, but back into the same suite . . . twenty years before on the very night that wife number two is about to die.

This reviewer has a chequered history with Ayckbourn’s plays. His output is often very much of its time and revivals of his work often seem badly dated.  After an over-long set up this however turned into an absorbing evening’s entertainment with deft acting and storytelling keeping the story arc cohesive and engaging.

On the down side, one point of weakness is the staging: the setting here is 1992 and the 2012 of the play is the future. Possibly due to a slightly outdated set decoration (the actual design which incorporated the time-travelling door was cleverly done) but without significant decorative differences across the years this wasn’t conveyed as well as it could have been. For Pitlochry this is a surprise as it’s usually known for phenomenally inventive set design.

This Ayckbourn play has fared better than most and provides as many laughs as suspenseful moments. Worth a visit.

Runs until 11th October – Pitlochry Festival Theatre details here

REVIEW: Little Shop of Horrors – Pitlochry Festival Theatre

“Business is so bad at his Skid Row Florists that Mr. Mushnik is considering throwing in the trowel, but just when it seems that the roses are destined for the garbage, Mushnik’s accident-prone assistant, Seymour, discovers a strange and exotic new plant. Seymour names his discovery Audrey Two, but Audrey Two is no ordinary shrub, it grows at a phenomenal rate thanks to a rather unusual diet, oh, and it has plans for world domination. Only Seymour knows Audrey Two’s terrible secrets and he’s prepared to risk everything for a shot at fame, fortune and true love.”

Once again, apologies for tardy posting, I saw this a few weeks ago.

Following on from last year’s success My Fair Lady, Pitlochry Festival Theatre present Little Shop of Horrors. Taking as its starting point classic 50s B-Movies, this comedy-horror musical is ably performed by a 14-strong cast who take on all of the roles as well as the orchestral duties. 

Deserving of praise are Charlie Tighe in the central role of Seymour, who takes tortured geek to a whole new level and Elliot Harper (above centre) who, amongst a series of roles, delivers a lesson in how to pitch an over the top role perfectly. Kate Quinnell (below), last year’s Eliza Doolittle turns in another accomplished performance, singing, dancing, playing the clarinet and acting with aplomb. Special mention must go to Dan Smith as the voice of Audrey, who had to step in to cover with minimal notice – so adept was the performance that you would never have believed he was anything other than the originator of the role. 

My only concern with this, as it was with last year’s musical show at Pitlochry, was that the vocals and music were seriously under-powered. It may be the fault of the amplification or the fact that the actors had to double up as musicians but it all needed a little more oomph. The quality was there it was just lacking in volume. That said, the sets, costumes and the fabulous animated plant Audrey were first class and there were laughs a-plenty to keep everyone entertained.

Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Port Na Craig, Pitlochry, runs until October 13

Author:  Howard Ashman

Music: Alan Menken

Director: John Durnin

REVIEW: Henceforward – Pitlochry Festival Theatre

It’s sometime quite soon . . .

Jerome is a serious avant-garde composer. He`s written string quartets, a ‘cello sonata. Unfortunately, he`s best known for the soundtrack of the infamous Singing Babies TV commercial . . .

Even worse, ever since his bank manager wife Corinna left him, taking their daughter with her, Jerome has suffered from creative block. Locked inside his fortress flat, he now lives surrounded by TV screens, computers and synthesizers, with just one companion: NAN 300F, a robot nanny who seems almost human, despite being perpetually on the blink. Well, the manufacturer did have to withdraw the entire range after that ‘unfortunate incident’ . . .

Desperate to gain custody of his daughter, but knowing that this unconventional lifestyle is unlikely to endear him to the Department of Child Wellbeing, Jerome hires out-of-work actress Zoë to pose as his fiancée and play happy families for the benefit of Mervyn Bickerdyke, the Child Welfare Officer.

But things with Zoë go horribly wrong – just as Mervyn and Corinna are on their way to examine Jerome’s stable new home environment – and Jerome is forced to improvise. You know, it’s amazing what you can do with a robot, a few micro-chips and a screwdriver . . .

Alan Ayckbourn’s play unfortunately doesn’t stand up to the ravages of time and has dated – badly. It’s not helped by the fact the central character, though well enough acted, had no redeeming features. Ultimately it all left me a little bit cold.

REVIEW: My Fair Lady – Pitlochry Festival Theatre

1910: on a cold March evening in Covent Garden, the overbearing Henry Higgins, a Professor of Phonetics, encounters a young flower seller, Eliza Doolittle. Whilst appalled by Eliza’s strangled vowels and missing consonants, Higgins opines that it is only her mangled English and coarse manners that separate her from the so-called Upper Classes…

And so results an outrageous wager between Higgins and the amiable Colonel Pickering: in just six months, Higgins promises to transform Eliza so completely that she will pass for a Duchess at the lavish Embassy Ball. But Eliza’s gradual metamorphosis under Higgins’s relentless tutelage comes at a terrible price.

Too eloquent for a flower girl, yet without the breeding and education of the aristocracy, what will become of her when the wager is over? Lerner and Loewe`s bewitching tale of a flower girl’s transformation into the toast of London society is one of the greatest musicals of all time.

Featuring unforgettable songs such as I Could Have Danced All Night, On The Street Where You Live, Get Me To The Church On Time and many others. This musical is always a joy and this production at Pitlochry Festival Theatre with actor/musicians was no different. Just luvverly!