Perth Theatre and the Scottish Arts Trust’s inaugural In Conversation with… event on Friday 12 May raised over £6000 in support of the Theatre’s outreach work in the community.

120 people enjoyed a Perth Gin drinks reception, a Simon Howie lunch and a raffle for prizes donated by local businesses 63 Tay Street, Dewar’s Distillery, Perthshire Artisans and St Johnstone FC whilst being regaled by insights and anecdotes from Scottish stage and screen legend Alan Cumming with author Louise Welsh. A book signing at the end was an opportunity for an informal meet and greet.

Vanessa Rawlings-Jackson, Vice Chair of Perth Theatre and Concert Hall, who organised the event said:

"Our first In Conversation with... lunch was such a success in raising funds to support our work with our communities, particularly young people. Thank you to everyone who came, and to Alan, Louise and our sponsors, Perth Gin and Simon Howie, for making the day so special.”

Next year’s event In Conversation with… Sir Ian Rankin and Gregory Burke is already on sale, and with the success of the first one, tickets are expected to be in high demand.

Scottish crime writer Sir Ian Rankin needs no introduction! His Rebus novels have been translated into 35 languages and topped bestseller lists across the world. He has written plays, standalone novels and non-fiction, presented a TV show and even collaborated with singer Jackie Leven on a CD.

Award-winning dramatist and screenwriter, Gregory Burke’s first play Gagarin Way opened at the Traverse Fringe in 2001 before transferring to the National Theatre and the West End. He won international plaudits for Black Watch and, amongst many other projects he wrote the acclaimed screenplays ‘71 and Entebbe.

The fellow Fifers will discuss the life and times of Ian Rankin’s famed creation DI John Rebus, who Gregory Burke brought back to TV screens after a long hiatus.

Sir Ian Rankin said:

"I'm looking forward to visiting Perth and chatting onstage with my friend Gregory Burke, whose play Black Watch changed the landscape of Scottish drama."

Gregory Burke said:

“I’m very excited to visit Perth Theatre for a conversation with the creator of Inspector Rebus, and world's leading Fifer, Sir Ian Rankin.”

Brought to life in partnership with the Scottish Arts Trust, In Conversation with... is a series of exclusive and intimate fundraising lunches supporting Perth Theatre’s outreach work in the community.

For tickets and information for In Conversation with… Sir Ian Rankin and Gregory Burke on Friday 17 May 2024, visit, or call or visit the Perth Theatre Box Office (01738 621031 Monday – Saturday 10:00 – 16:00).

Monday 22 May 2023