Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Record-breaking Pitlochry Festival Theatre artistic director to step down

John Durnin.
John Durnin.

Pitlochry Festival Theatre will have big shoes to fill following the decision by its artistic director to step down after 15 hugely successful years.

Over the past decade-and-a-half, John Durnin has helped to deliver some of the most successful shows in the venue’s storied history.

This summer season’s hit High Society became the theatre’s best-selling show of all time, with the record-breaking visitor numbers also proving a boon for the local economy.

As word-of-mouth spread it gradually overtook each of the previous five top-selling shows – four of which were staged under John’s leadership.

They included Hello, Dolly! (2013), Kiss Me, Kate (2010), Whisky Galore – A Musical! (2009) and the 2011 production of My Fair Lady.

He has also been one of the key movers behind the return of Compton Mackenzie’s favourite, Monarch of the Glen, to the stage.

It has, therefore, been an incredible run, but John believes it is now time to move on.

He will leave the company at the end of December, making Singin’ in the Rain – which opens on the famous Pitlochry stage on December 1 – his swansong.

The cast of High Society on the Pitlochry stage.

“This has been a very difficult decision to make but, in the end, I have decided that this is the right time to leave,” John said.

“It gives me the time and space to work out my next career move, though it will have to be something very special to rival my experiences at PFT.

“It is testament to how much I have enjoyed working at the theatre that I remained here for 15 years.

“I shall of course be very sad to bid farewell to the many dedicated and highly talented people with whom I have worked here. In many respects, they are more family than colleagues.

“I will take with me many happy memories of this unique place, the vibrant working environment and the many wonderful productions that we have created together.”

Basienka Blake and Dougal Lee on stage in Hello Dolly, another PFT success story.

Colin Liddell, Chair of the Board of Trustees of PFT, said John would leave behind “a substantial legacy” at Pitlochry.

“As Artistic Director, John has played a key role in the continuing success story of the Theatre,” Mr Liddell said.

“As a result, PFT now enjoys a national and international reputation for the quality and excellence of its extensive in-house programme.

“John can be justifiably proud of his contribution over the past 15 years and I speak on behalf of the trustees in saying that we wish him all the very best for the future.”

The winter musical Singin’ in the Rain runs until December 23.

Already a subscriber? Sign in