When actors Brad Morrison and Scott Miller last performed together, they charmed young theatre-goers as Merlock the Magician and Jack respectively in the hugely popular festive show Jack and the Magic Beans just before Christmas.
But their new stage partnership is much darker – and definitely not one for the very young or the faint-hearted.
For Aberdonian Brad plays Katurian, a writer of grisly short stories, and Scott plays Ariel, a detective investigating child murders, in APA Young Persons Company’s upcoming production of The Pillowman.
The play, written by Martin McDonagh, will be staged at The Lemon Tree Studio from Thursday to Saturday next week (March 29-31) with a free Thursday matinee for senior pupils and college students.
It is the young company’s fourth production – they staged The Wall in 2010 and The Ducky and Eight in 2011 – but The Pillowman is a much darker tale, with a score by Aberdeen-based composer Ross Whyte, currently working on a practice-based PhD at Aberdeen University.
In the play, Katurian is arrested by detectives Ariel and Tupolski because some of his stories resemble recent child murders.
When he hears that his brother Michal has confessed to the murders and implicated him, Katurian resigns himself to his execution but attempts to save his stories from destruction.
The play includes both narrations and re-enactments of several of Katurian's stories, most notably the autobiographical The Writer and the Writer's Brother, which tells how Katurian developed his disturbed imagination by hearing the sounds of Michal being tortured by their parents.
APA Creative Learning manager Johanna Duncan who has produced and designed The Pillowman, said: “This is a hugely challenging piece for the young actors but they have fully embraced the opportunity to perform what is in no way a safe option for the company.
“It is a dark piece of theatre, a black comedy which will also challenge the audience by offering what we hope will be a delightfully sinister treat.
“It has also been hugely rewarding to involve other artists, such as Ross, and young people wanting to work in theatre production, we have been able to form a great team.”
In addition to Brad and Scott, the cast includes Ellen Caveney as a Little Girl, Jamie Rodden as Tupolski, Joel Garden as Michal, Jordan Mcbrearty as Father/Foster Father and Victoria Bruce as Mother/Foster Mother.
The play is being directed by APA Creative Learning worker Paul Hudson and the stage management team includes Will McLeod, Adam Main and Karen Young.
Tickets for The Pillowman, at The Lemon Tree Studio from Thursday to Saturday, March 29 to 31, are available online at www.boxofficeaberdeen.com, by phone at 01224 641122 and at Aberdeen Box Office at the Music Hall and His Majesty’s Theatre.