“The Pitlochry Play” #2: ‘Skin in the Game’

Due to some unexpected cancellations in the diary, and some jiggling about of other stuff I am a major over-achiever: October’s expenses are begun, there’s mugs soaking in the bubbles, and here I am.

I’ve just sent another thank you letter to one of my funders for the “Pitlochry Play”, and as I wiped the suds from my hands, thought that some of what I wrote would be apt for here.

Without their (secret; modest) support, I am not sure I would have been able to justify the spend. But their kind cover for accommodation and travel meant that the project is truly growing. I had…

  • 100 hours thinking about & developing the show, meeting local organisations and experts
  • a “sharing” with the theatre’s associate directors, to review progress, get a sounding board, hear their thoughts
  • one of the ADs has very kindly agreed to be a mentor for the project’s future development (I won’t name them ’til I’ve checked they’re ok with that, though)
  • I’m working towards a February all-day workshop and “script in hand” in Bath – details TBC
  • Although I didn’t secure ACE funding for the residency, ACE have been really helpful since my return about planning phase 2 (writing) and building to a potential tour 
  • It’s now an exciting adult fairytale show about the climate emergency and that perennial human comedy: “personal agency”
  • I know my characters (damn their eyes) and I can hear the music… oh, yes.

A huge thanks to all so far. Names will come when I know you’re OK with it! (Photos if the machine ever permits….)

Wanted a Genie, found a Muse

Lovely news – I’ve just been awarded a writers’ residency at the fantastic Pitlochry Festival Theatre to start work on a new play. And it all started because I couldn’t get to Mull and in the (relatively) short time my child was away with relatives.

In July, I’d been facing the standard single parent dilemma: while you child’s off on adventures, should you do the DIY or have a hol? Validated by friends’ and parents; encouragement, “Have-a-hol” scraped through – largely ‘cos it whispered “Inspiration!” in a way that a “Paste-The-Wall” mini-staycation just can’t.

I’d had a great break in Orkney 10y ago, and while I’m desperate to return, I need to explore. My quest for rural adventure started with a day of crying into my computer because National Rail Enquiries refused to offer magic carpet options so I could see family & friends in Glasgow and nip casually to Mull. Four days’ travel in a 7-day break? I needed a Genie…

…But I found a smashing travel agent. Who suggested Pitlochry. And its theatre. EVERYBODY mentioned its theatre. EVERYBODY.

I didn’t need a Genie. I found the muses; or they found me. What a place. And what a theatre. By which I mean history, building, location, leadership, ambition, heritage, talent, teams, reputation… If you don’t know of it, check it out – only a few (gorgeous) hours’ train from Glasgow, there’s quality theatre in the stunning hills: go on, click!

And so on a long walk, a story bit my bum and wouldn’t let go. I came back and worked it up and worried – and then leapt: I sent it in to PFT’s artistic team and they have very kindly given me a residency this autumn.

Apart from my parents’ bemused pride, they’re also looking forward to my return – with a lot more Edradour Malt marmalade.