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Pitlochry Festival Theatre Will Stage the Premiere Of Martin McCormick's New Play THE MAGGIE WALL in September

Performances run 9 - 29 September.

Pitlochry Festival Theatre Will Stage the Premiere Of Martin McCormick's New Play THE MAGGIE WALL in September

This September, Pitlochry Festival Theatre's new Studio is set to host the stage premiere of The Maggie Wall, a new monologue by Scottish playwright Martin McCormick, which is inspired by a mysterious monument built in Dunning in Perthshire to commemorate the death of a woman who was tried and executed in the 17th century for witchcraft.

The Maggie Wall explores the vulnerability of women and injustices suffered by them in a patriarchal and closed community and resonates with contemporary experiences, as well as reminding us of a chapter of Scottish and British history in which many people, predominantly women, were accused, tried and killed as suspected witches.

This new play is inspired by a monument near Dunning called 'The Maggie Wall', the site of a mysterious marker to a woman tried and executed in the 17th century for witchcraft. It's a collection of stones about 20 feet high, bearing the words in white lettering - "Maggie Wall burnt here 1657 as a witch".

However, rather mysteriously, there has never been any record of Maggie Wall ever existing. There is no evidence of her crimes, and nothing to indicate what she did to warrant the label of being a 'witch'. Historians now believe that Maggie Wall's grave is in fact a memorial to honour the memory of all the women executed, using Maggie as a mythical figure to represent those who were accused of witchcraft.

The Maggie Wall will be performed by acclaimed Scottish actress Blythe Jandoo whose theatre credits include Wizard of Oz (Sheffield Crucible), Peter Pan (Clyde Auditorium Glasgow), Bend it Like Beckham (Toronto) and who featured in the Walt Disney Pictures Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. Blythe is currently appearing in the Pitlochry Festival Theatre's acclaimed production of Sunshine on Leith.

Perthshire based Martin McCormick is a writer, actor and director. He won the Critics' Awards Theatre in Scotland (CATS) award for Best New Play in 2014 for his play Squash. His theatre credits include 22 Mays (Pitlochry Festival Theatre), South Bend (Grid Iron), Ma, Pa and the Little Mouths (National Theatre of Scotland/Tron Theatre), The Day The Pope Emptied Croy (Traverse Theatre) and most recently Oh When the Saints (Perth Theatre).

Playwright Martin McCormick said:

"The script for Maggie Wall was inspired by a monument near Dunning (called 'The Maggie Wall') which is the site of a mysterious grave to a woman who was tried and executed in the 17th century for witchcraft. It is not far from where I live and is genuinely an eerie place to visit as it reminds us of a chapter of Scottish and British history in which many people, predominantly women, were accused, tried and killed as suspected witches. The more I discovered about the site the grizzlier the history of the monument's significance became. I'm always drawn to stories that uncover dark secrets, particularly about the place you live, and the more I researched the Maggie Wall the more unsettling the mythology around the monument was; with specific regard to how it was connected, and perhaps strangely responsible, to other acts of violence on women. I have tried to find the voice for Maggie in this piece and to allow her to have her say. This felt powerful and important given the enormous parallels her story has with the continuing acts of violence on women by an abusive, patriarchal establishment in our society".

Directed by Pitlochry Festival Theatre's Associate Director Amy Liptrott, The Maggie Wall will premiére in the studio from 9-29 September.

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