Aberdeen Performing Arts is a vibrant, cultural hub at the heart of city life inspiring, exploring and engaging through live performances and creative projects. Creating A Spark in the North-east with our homegrown shows and productions.

Velvet Evening Séance

A co-production between Ross MacKay, Freshly Squeezed Productions and The Uncertainty Principle


Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Thursday 3 - Monday 28 August (not 15 or 22), Starts 4.30pm
Assembly Hall (Venue 35)
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It’s Victorian 1900s and true to the times, the Judge has allowed twelve jury members to witness a séance so as to establish the guilt or innocence of the accused. Mr James MacGregor, a well-known medium, is on trial for the murder of his older brother Mr Thomas MacGregor, an even more highly profiled and regarded medium, and this séance is James’ last opportunity to convince the jury of his innocence. Amidst the candles and velvet, the accused attempts to establish his connection with the jury, and then to the spirit world. By weaving various strands of stories together using both exquisite puppetry and visual imagery, the evening is one of comfort, danger, magic, trickery and spirit connection. Or is it? Is there something we find in the midst of our most lost selves that is even more real than what we are searching for? Something more authentic right before us?

Audiences will be taken on a journey through the Victorian era of magic and crime, through ageless relationship disappointments and human fragility, engage with exquisite puppetry and with the tenderness of tiny projections, of magic as both trickery and reality, and will go to the centre of desire and what it is that we can find for ourselves. Is James a charlatan and master manipulator or a man who has found the truth?

A 60-minute studio play directed by multi-award winning magician and theatre maker, Ross MacKay. Velvet Evening Séance uses innovative visual imagery, magic, puppetry and text to create a world of crime, danger, humanity, sadness and loss.

Praise for Ross MacKay’s previous work:

‘Bespoke – and quite brilliant’
The Times

‘Technically, visually, aurally and politically, it’s a tremendous show’ The Scotsman

‘You leave the show both pondering its themes and marvelling at its astonishing invention and imagination’ The Edinburgh Reporter

Velvet Evening Seance credits:

Developed and directed by: Ross MacKay
Developed and written by: Suzie Miller

James MacGregor performed by: Scott Gilmour

Composer and performer: Jim Harbourne
Set and costume design: Becky Minto
Lighting design: Andy Gannon
Video design: Lewis den Hertog
Design Assistant: Fraser Lappin