Chilling tale of murder returns to the city of its inception

Velvet Evening S�ance is returning to Aberdeen's Lemon Tree, from February 16 to 18. (Photo: Richard Frew Photography)
Velvet Evening S�ance is returning to Aberdeen's Lemon Tree, from February 16 to 18. (Photo: Richard Frew Photography)

The debut show from Freshly Squeezed Productions is touring Scotland, opening in the city of its inception, Aberdeen.

Velvet Evening Séance is a fascinating and chilling tale of a young man on trial for the murder of his brother. The show received its world premiere in Aberdeen’s Lemon Tree last year, before moving to Assembly Hall for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where it received glowing reviews. And it’s returning to the Lemon Tree this month, running from February 16 to 18.

Launched last year, Freshly Squeezed Productions (FSP), is Aberdeen Performing Arts’ new producing arm, supporting and producing new work, new voices and new talent.

Velvet Evening Séance is a co-production between Freshly Squeezed Productions and Ross MacKay, artistic director of visual theatre company Tortoise in a Nutshell. It is written by multi award-winning playwright Suzie Miller.

Ross said: “In a world full of half-truths and fake news, Velvet Evening Séance feels more relevant than ever. It really puts the audience on the edge of their seats and asks them what do they really believe?

“I am delighted the show has been given the opportunity to be performed to audiences across the length and breadth of Scotland.

“It has been fantastic to work with a world-class, inspiring team.”

Inspired by a true story and set in the Victorian era, Velvet Evening Séance recounts the story of young medium James McGregor who is on trial for the murder of Thomas – the defendant’s brother and partner in spiritualism. In an effort to clear his name, James uses a loophole in the Victorian court system which allows him to call on his brother to speak from beyond the grave as a witness in the murder case.

Combining storytelling, illusion, tricks and puppetry, Velvet Evening Séance winds around a compelling narrative, all set in the gothic surroundings of a candle-lit courtroom, with ingenious set design and a stunning, original score played live on stage.

Aberdeen Performing Arts chief executive Jane Spiers said: “The show is gripping, beguiling and beautifully performed by the very talented Scott Gilmour. It’s a period piece which in essence is about truth and trickery, and the audience will find themselves playing jury as the story unfolds.”