Kirsty Stuart will star in the long-awaited stage premiere of David Greig’s new play, Adventures with the Painted People, which will open in Pitlochry from 10 June to 4 July as part of the theatre’s exciting outdoor Summer Season.
This much-anticipated play by one of Scotland’s leading playwrights, will feature two extraordinary Scottish talents, alongside Kirsty Stuart in the role of Eithne, Adventures with the Painted People also stars Nicholas Karimi as Lucius.
Performed in the theatre’s outdoor amphitheatre, with the stunning Perthshire hills as a backdrop, Adventures with the Painted People was originally commissioned by Pitlochry Festival Theatre as part of the Shades of Tay project, the play was set to have its stage premiere in Pitlochry in July 2020. It subsequently became an acclaimed BBC Radio 3 play in June last year, as part of BBC Arts Culture in Quarantine series. Tickets for the upcoming run can be found here.
You’re starring in Adventures with the Painted People. What can you tell us about the play?
Adventures with the Painted People explores the clashing of cultures and ideas, what we can learn from each other, and how we can soften and grow.
How would you describe your character?
Eithne is a forthright woman leading a clan who are under threat and potentially fighting for their lives. She is tough, but ultimately kind. Her heart is with nature and the spirits of her ancestors.
How has director, Elizabeth Newman, helped you get the most from the character?
Elizabeth is brilliant at just letting you explore. Just the other day I had a wobble about a particular scene and decided I had got it all wrong and should be played differently. She allowed me to go right round the houses with it and, in the end, I was back where I started! But the beauty of that is that what you learn on the journey, wasn’t a waste of time and ends up informing the scene anyway. Elizabeth fully understands an actors’ process and allows space and time for the investigation.
What is it about David Greig’s writing that inspires you?
I think David has an extraordinary way of creating layers – a love story, Pictish and Roman history and then some bigger, more current questions about Scotland and its culture all at once. And the whole thing stays accessible and feels incredibly natural. It’s honestly a joy to say his words.
Are there any challenges you face in bringing this to an outdoor stage?
We may have to deal with the weather! But actually, there’s something that feels so completely right that Adventures with the Painted People is being staged outdoors and in the woods beside the Tay. Perfect!
How have you and Nichola Karimi been managing the rehearsal process under current restrictions?
We’ve been rehearsing on zoom for 2 weeks which isn’t ideal, but has actually meant really detailed script work. It feels like we really know the characters now and their internal shifts and what drives them. We head into rehearsals this week and it feels like all that work will really let us hit the ground running as we get to our feet.
What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to see Adventures with the Painted People?
Painted People is a joyous, uplifting, funny and moving hour and a half. You’re going to have a ball!