Review: Thark – Pitlochry Festival Theatre

First published in The Times, Thursday June 23 2016

Two Stars

A couple of years back the playwright and actor Clive Francis was charged with dusting down Ben Travers’s 1927 farce for a revival at London’s Park Theatre. “He wasn’t brilliant with endings,” said Francis. “So hopefully with Ben’s voice firmly in my ear I’ve come up with a twist which will be pleasing to a modern day audience, especially those who have never seen the play.”

Continue reading “Review: Thark – Pitlochry Festival Theatre”

Review: The Lady in the Van – Pitlochry Festival Theatre

First published in The Times, Tuesday July 14 2015

Three Stars

Faced with the prospect of having a stranger’s Bedford van parked in their driveway for more than a decade, most homeowners would have seen red. Alan Bennett, however, spotted a creative opening in his uninvited guest’s filthy clothes, offhand manner and ripe odour. His 15-year relationship with the eccentric, reactionary Miss Shepherd would ultimately lead the playwright to pen a radio series, a play and a feature film, to be released later this year.

Continue reading “Review: The Lady in the Van – Pitlochry Festival Theatre”

Review: A Little Night Music – Pitlochry Festival Theatre

First published in The Times, Tuesday July 7 2015

Four Stars

As a producing house in Scotland with the audacity to stage at least one musical each year, Pitlochry Festival Theatre continues to find itself in a minority of one. Having impressed audiences and awards panels alike with recent polished productions of crowd-pleasers such as My Fair Lady and White Christmas, artistic director John Durnin and his team have now set themselves the challenge of tackling something altogether more nuanced.

Continue reading “Review: A Little Night Music – Pitlochry Festival Theatre”