Theatre News

Pitlochry’s new season includes Footloose and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

The Scotland venue has a packed 2024

Pitlochry Festival Theatre
Pitlochry Festival Theatre, photo provided by venue

Pitlochry Festival Theatre has announced 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. Casting and creative team for the production, which will transfer to the New Wolsey in October, is still to be announced.

In early June, Pitlochry will present a new production of the award-winning West End and Broadway musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (7 June to 28 September). The show tells the true story of King’s remarkable rise to fame as 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); 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.

Newman said of the season: “All this work, in its own distinct way, celebrates love and our collective desire to feel music deep in our soul, rhythm to take over our bodies, and our need to connect with the world around us.”