With the Scottish Ballet continuing their lauded tour of the ballet adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ legendary A Streetcar Named Desire, it very much seems that Williams is on people’s minds in Scotland at the moment. This more traditional adaptation, spearheaded by Elizabeth Newman and staged as part of Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s summer line-up, is a straight-forward production, but one brought to life in phenomenal fashion.

The glorious sunshine and verdant hills of Pitlochry are immediately forgotten as soon as the audience enter the theatre. Instead, they are swapped for the grimy two-bedroom apartment of Stella and Stanley in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Set atop the theatre’s rotating stage, the apartment feels particularly poky. Emily James’ set design is well-decorated but relatively sparse; given the room to work with, however, it lends character to the cluttered apartment, and adds an additional sense of claustrophobia to proceedings.

The rotating stage allows the apartment to unfold naturally, bringing the apartment’s bedroom, living area, and porch to the forefront when required and lending a great deal of depth. It also smartly reflects Blanche DuBois’ dizzying mindset and the circles that the lies she spins run around both herself and others. This is taken to the extreme for the play’s denouement, lending to the already chaotic scene an extra level of franticness.

Pitlochry regular, Kirsty Stuart, dominates the stage as Blanche. Full of southern airs, her projection fills every corner of the theatre and allows the character’s charm to fully exude from her, masking her barbs at Stanley’s heritage, home, and job behind this charismatic veneer. That said, there’s also a subtlety to the performance both for the sadness and trauma hidden just beneath the surface. By contrast, Nalini Chetty’s Stella is at once demure, cowing to both Blanche’s lies and Stanley’s domineering abuse, and a sexually charged equal to Stanley in their moments of passion.

Equally, Matthew Trevannion does an excellent job as he seeks to put his own spin on Stanley. There’s a frightening physicality to his portrayal as he looms far taller than he is over both his family and friends. A man who has fully bought into the American dream and the rights that go along with it, Trevannion deftly captures the brutishness and entitlement that the character is famed for. Also, of note is Keith MacPherson’s depiction of Mitch, bringing out the character’s jovial side before becoming deeply conflicted as his life entwines with Blanche’s.

It’s worth noting that this production of Streetcar doesn’t necessarily do anything fresh with the material, but when it comes to Williams’ iconic work, that can be a risky move. This is an excellent production carried forward by its strong cast and direction, making it an incredibly worthy addition to Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s summer programme and not one to miss for lovers of Williams’ work.