In case you’re wondering where this gorgeous carnival mask came from, it’s on sale at the shop in Pitlochry Festival Theatre. The theatre itself is always well worth visiting. As well as the auditorium with its dramatic and musical events, there is the shop, the bar, a restaurant, and an exhibition of paintings. At present the annual Winter Words festival – Scotland’s first literary festival of the year – is under way. It finishes next weekend, the 21st and 22nd of February, so if you are in or near Scotland, there is still time to plan a flying visit. You may be lucky and get a ticket for one of the events, but don’t forget there are also bookstalls and free events in the Theatre.
One of the free events is the late-evening ‘Fearie Tales’ session, where actors Helen Logan and Dougal Lee read the stories of the eight winners of the year’s competition for spine-chilling fiction. Paul has been to two of these so far, to support clients who have been among the winners, and oh what tales he has heard! A hen-pecked husband finds a replica of his boyhood home down a Scottish lane, where it has no right to be; a young woman captured by a dragon-worshiping cult; a boy encounters the fairies that have ‘tidied’ his lonely family life, and wonders whether to ask for the sister he never had; an Australian scientist goes looking for voices on the top of a remote Scottish mountain…
There will be four more next weekend. Go along, and prepare to be terrified!
By the way, Paul hopes to be at the StAnza poetry festival in St Andrews from the 5th to the 8th of March, so look out for him there.