Stage fright – ghosts get leading role in theatre’s autumn season

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TALES of mystery, ghostly apparitions and lost souls will be haunting the Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s Autumn Season.

Three brand new tales from Scottish-based playwrights are bringing a nineteenth century ghost story to life, exploring loss of personal identity and questioning the very tradition of telling these eerie tales.

Ghost Stories for the Pitlochry Festival Theatre Autumn Programme - Entertainment
Three brand new Ghost Stories are coming to Pitlochry Festival Theatre this autumn.

Performing outdoors in the theatre’s gardens, amidst the woodland, the Ghost Stories selection features dramas by River City’s Maryam Hamidi and playwrights Jen McGregor and Martin McCormick.

The programme will run from October 20 to November 7, with tickets priced between £18-20.

A special late night Halloween showing will be held on October 31.

Hamidi’s I Look Down on Myself parallels the experience of an immigrant to Scotland with the traditional ghost story.

It explores the transition to a different culture, loss of identity and disassociation from the present moment.

McGregor’s When Soft Voices Die takes a centuries old newspaper report of spectres along a dark Perthshire road and reworks the events, drawing from the author’s own otherworldly glimpses.

The bold protagonist, Felicity Creech, sets out to reckon with the spirits, only to encounter shadows and memories as the light fades.

McCormick’s Played by a Ghost takes on the tradition by calling into question the continuation of such storytelling, when the associated feelings of fear and horror can be unsatisfying and unpleasant.

Instead, he draws attention away from fiction and back to reality, for a narrative much closer to home.

Maryam Hamidi, Jen McGregor and Martin McCormick - Entertainment
From left to right: Maryam Hamidi, Martin McCormick and Jen McGregor’s plays were written especially for the autumn programme.

Amy Liptrott, Director and Associate Director at Pitlochry Festival Theatre said: “We are thrilled to be collaborating with Martin McCormick, Maryam Hamidi and Jen McGregor on our Autumn production of Ghost Stories.

“Maryam and Jen are new writers to PFT audiences. We cannot wait to share their important voices with audiences.”

She continued: “We are also equally excited to grow our relationship with Martin after the success of 22 Mays, one of our Shades of Tay pieces.”

She added that each play “is a contemporary and fresh approach to ghost stories” and that they will be told in the “extraordinary Explorers’ Garden as we take the audience on a promenade experience”.

Full casts are due to be announced in the coming weeks and further information can be found via the festival’s website.