For just four performances between 19 August and 10 September, Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s open-air amphitheatre will host the première of Smoking is Bad for You, Elizabeth Newman’s new adaptation of Anton Chekov’s amusing and moving monologue, On the Harmful Effects of Tobacco.
Directed by Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s Associate Director, Ben Occhipinti and performed by Ali Watt (Blithe Spirit, The Monarch of the Glen and A Christmas Carol, Pitlochry Festival Theatre), Chekhov’s 1886 short play tells the story of Ivan as we meet him at a local Town Hall. Instructed by his wife to give a lecture on the harmful effects of tobacco it comes apparent that she has an ulterior motive and Ivan’s lecture quickly becomes a very funny, yet painful, revelation about his life and relationships, laying out his lost dreams.
Elizabeth Newman, who wrote the new adaptation said: “As audiences return to the Theatre it feels like a real opportunity to enjoy great drama and wonderful, funny stories. I have always found Chekhov delivers on both fronts. So, when I was thinking about what we could make for our audiences for our 70th Anniversary outdoors, my mind kept wandering to Chekhov and some of his brilliant short plays. Smoking is Bad for You promises to be a right good night out for people in our new amphitheatre, as Chekhov takes them on a ’lecture’. But it will not be like any lecture they have ever experienced before! Smoking is Bad for You is extraordinarily witty and laugh-out-loud in places. It feels like a great way to
investigate one man’s life struggles with an audience. Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s Summer Seasons are known for offering lots of different theatrical styles and genres to audiences and it feels exciting to have a Chekhov in our mix this year.”
Edinburgh actor, singer and musician, Ali Watt’s theatre credits include Blithe Spirit, The Crucible, The Monarch of the Glen, A Christmas Carol, and Summer Holiday (all at Pitlochry Festival Theatre); Country Music (Trafalgar Studios); Far from the Madding Crowd (New Vic Theatre); Brigadoon (Òran Mór); and Much Ado About Nothing (Dundee Rep).
Pitlochry Festival Theatre is keeping things flexible so audiences can too. They will honour no-hassle refunds and exchanges for any reason (including the weather!) if it is requested at least 24 hours before the performance time. So, audiences can book for summer with the confidence that if plans change, their tickets and money can too!
Smoking is Bad for You will have just four performances in the capacity limited open-air Amphitheatre at Pitlochry Festival Theatre between 19 August and 10 September at 7pm.
For tickets and further information visit www.pitlochryfestivaltheatre.com