LISTEN: Elizabeth Newman gives her reaction to winning the award and looks to the PFT’s future.
Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s artistic director, Elizabeth Newman, has won a prestigious award in the arts as best director.
Her winning nomination is a part of five other’s entered into the competition on behalf of the Pitlochry Festival Theatre to the Critics’ Awards for Theatre.
Looking back on the work behind the nomination, Elizabeth Newman said: “It was a real honour and privilege to direct Brian Friel’s Faith Healer with such a brilliant creative team and the most extraordinary group of talented actors – George Costigan, Kirsty Stuart and Richard Standing.
“The piece meant so much to us all, not least George who suggested we make the play together several years ago.”
The nominations included best production, best actor and actress to George Costigan and Kirsty Stewart in Faith Healer.
Faith Healer is a story about a man with the supposed power to treat the ‘sick and suffering’ and asks if ‘Faith Healer Francis is at the mercy of his ‘unreliable’ gift. So where does truth lie? Showman? Con-man? Villain? Victim?’
Among the other nominations was ‘Blonde Bombshells’ which made the shortlisting for best music and sound for Rob Highley.
This production tells the story of an ecliptic mix of 1904’s characters from the ‘draft dodging drummer who is unafraid to don a frock, a nun who plays a mean ukulele, an innocent schoolgirl clarinettist and a rather snooty soldier saxophonist.’
Elizabeth Newman added: “I was very shocked and blown away to receive a call from them explaining that I’d won the award for best director for our autumn production by Brian Friel of Faith Healer.
“Which was a co-production with Eden Court in Inverness which went on a tour of the Highland and Islands.”
‘It’s a really great way for PFT (Pitlochry Festival Theatre) to end the year’, explained Elizabeth Newman, ‘with an acknowledgement of our work in the Summer but also in the Autumn.’
Looking ahead to the near future, with Christmas around the corner, she says she’s ‘very excited about welcoming people to the garden at Christmas’ for their production, the Magic of Christmas.
As well as ‘being able to share lots of stuff online and continuing with our telephone club too.’
Elizabeth Newman said: “And we look forward to the moment where we can have audiences back in our big theatre again in person.
“So it was a boost to receive that recognition for the CAT’s Awards.”