Theatre News

Company announced for Pitlochry’s new season including Footloose and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

The Scotland venue has a packed 2024

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The full company for the Pitlochry season, photos supplied by the venue

Pitlochry Festival Theatre has announced the 24-strong company for its 2024 summer season, which includes new productions of Footloose and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.

Running from 31 May until 26 September 2024, Footloose opens the season in the main house. A co-production with the New Wolsey Theatre, the show is based on the 1984 Oscar-nominated film starring Kevin Bacon.

Footloose tells 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.

In early June, Pitlochry will present a new production of the award-winning West End and Broadway hit Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (7 June to 28 September). The show tells the true story of King’s remarkable rise to fame as one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history.

Later in June, the main auditorium sees Pitlochry team up with OVO theatre company on a new version of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (21 June to 27 September). Frances Poet’s adaptation will also play at the Roman Theatre of St Albans.

Rounding off the season in the main house is the return of Pitlochry’s award-winning production of Shirley Valentine (4 July to 28 September), Willy Russell’s heart-warming story about a middle-aged, working-class Liverpool housewife whose life is transformed after a holiday in Greece. Sally Reid will reprise her performance as Shirley.

Next year’s studio season will see the premiere of two new plays. Opening in May will be a co-production with Scotland’s Firebrand Theatre Company of Nan Shepherd: Naked and Unashamed (24 May to 6 July), about the Scottish author, teacher, hillwalker, and nature lover. It’s followed by Harry Mould’s debut play The Brenda Line (15 August to 18 September), which is inspired by Mould’s mother’s teenage life, as well as the lesser-known history of the Samaritans in the 1970s and 80s.

The 2024 season will also see two productions in the venue’s outdoor amphitheatre: the return of artistic director Elizabeth Newman’s adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic The Secret Garden (12 July to 22 August, featuring the ensemble cast); and a Gaelic and Scots language version of Purcell’s baroque masterpiece Dido and Aeneas (31 August to 15 September), co-produced with Scots Opera Project, and featuring a number of their company.

The company for the season includes Irene Allan (Wilf), Lola Aluko (Medea), Fiona Bruce (Once), Oliver Cookson (A Streetcar Named Desire), Chris Coxon (The Wizard of Oz), Theo Diedrick (Sleeping Beauty), David Douglas (The Descent O’ Orpheus Tae the Underwal), Kirsty Findlay (Our Ladies Of Perpetual Succour), Connor Going (Sunshine on Leith), Charlotte Grayson (Sunshine on Leith), Nina Kristofferson (Medea), Signe Larsson (The Wizard of Oz), Myles Miller (Alice In Wonderland), soprano Emma Morwood, baritone Colin Murray, soprano Colleen Nicoll, Wendy Paver (Summer Holiday), David Rankine (The Fair Maid of the West), the aforementioned Reid, Elizabeth Rowe (Made in Dagenham), Robin Simpson (The Railway Children), Luke Thornton (The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole the Musical), Luke Wilson (Much Ado About Nothing), and mezzo-soprano Ulrike Wutscher.

Newman said today: “I am thrilled to share news of all the incredible people who’ll be joining us this season to form our 2024 ensemble. They really are the most incredibly talented and inspirational group of artists. We can’t wait to make all our different summer productions with them this year.

“We have met so many incredible people over the past four months and it has been a great privilege to go through the casting process to form this company with the other directors in the season -Adam Nichols, Douglas Rintoul, Ben Occhipinti, David Douglas, Richard Baron, and Sam Hardie.

“The arrival of the summer ensemble marks a special moment in the year, injecting a fresh and vibrant energy into the Theatre. The passion, talent and commitment of every individual is what makes a summer in Pitlochry so special. And, as well as setting the stages alight here, this wonderful company will venture beyond Pitlochry, performing in St Albans, Ipswich, and Edinburgh.

“It’s exciting to imagine what we will create for audiences inside, outside, and online, as we continue our mission to share Pitlochry with the world and the world with Pitlochry.”

Casting for the season was conducted by the creative team following an open call.