One of the best things about living in Scotland's Central Belt is definitely the vast array of cultural events on offer. However, it should never be underestimated what is still going on in Scotland's less cosmopolitan areas. I have admittedly been aware of film showings in Pitlochry for some time, however I've kind of always poo-pooed it ignorantly believing it to be akin to some village show I starred in with the Brownies back in my own village upbringing. But alas I was given the opportunity to be proven wrong when I was invited along to sit in the audience of the Pitlochry Festival Theatre's main stage show Our Man in Havana.
Set in Cuba in the 1940's it's a black comedy which follows the life of an MI6 spy who sends intelligence reports back to London which are completely incorrect (but enhance his pay cheque). He's a vacuum cleaner salesman by day and sends pictures of vacuum sketches pretending they are a secret military installation in the mountains, just for example of how much piss he is taking out of his superiors. Originally a book (and also a film) the stage play was played by just four actors to great effect with quick costume changes and voice adjustments, some of which has to be done while the actor was still on stage. Oh and the humour is dorky and passive, which is just the kind of humour I go for.
Plus you'll get see a man dress up as the Queen with a robotic corgi.
Our Man in Havana is currently being shown in the Pitlochry Festival Theatre looking out onto the River Tummel with the Perthshire hills looking down on it. And the building is far a cry from the village hall image I had in mind. Along with a gift shop which stocked independent jewellery.
Afterwords I also took a walk along into Pitlochry itself. The email I received from the theatre described Pitlochry as 'very Instagram' and very Instagram it was. The village I grew up in was almost 100% residential, and certainly didn't have a film theatre. Pitlochry has a main street filled with rows of independent shops (I only seen a Bank of Scotland and a tiny WHSmith for example of how non-commercial it is). I stopped by Drink Monger (which you may recognise from the Edinburgh Royal Mile) to have a nosey at their rums. Within it they also had a beer room, where I found some vegan cider to take up the road with me. Though be warned, even though there's trains running between Glasgow and Pitlochry, they aren't regular. Plan your day well.
Our Man in Havana will be shown regularly until the 14th of November.