Rise Up! celebrates black and POC creatives 

Rise Up! is a brand new event coming to Aberdeen this month. The weekend will highlight and amplify the voices of black and POC creatives from Aberdeen and throughout Scotland.

We Are Here Scotland has partnered with Aberdeen Performing Arts to curate the event. Performances, talks, workshops, and community spaces are all part of the festival, which runs from 13-14 May.

Here are some of the many exciting acts set to perform over the weekend's packed line-up.



Ica Headlam

We Are Here Scotland Director Ica Headlam told us: “We are pleased to be working in partnership with Aberdeen Performing Arts on Rise Up! We feel that it is a very important and unique opportunity to spotlight a variety of Black and PoC artists and performers from the North East of Scotland and further afield. With a variety of performances, free panels, and workshops, we hope these events bring new and diverse engagement for Aberdeen’s creative community.”

Friday 13

In Our Own Words is an evening of performance by artists of colour, exploring and celebrating themes of identity, culture and a sense of place in Scotland.

Poetry at Noon is a spoken word artist and poet who believes that art is an extremely powerful tool for personal and social transformation. In her performance poetry, she analyzes and discusses experiences of trauma, political upheaval, migration, and motherhood that she experienced while growing up in Sudan.

Aiysha is a singer-songwriter from Aberdeen. Many will remember her powerful performance at the Black Lives Matter Aberdeen protest in 2020. She also featured in a BBC documentary highlighting Aberdeen's RnB and Hip Hop scene. Aiysha is set to release her debut release as an artist later this year.

DIJA

Saturday 14

Known as a songwriter and sound smith, Kapil Seshasayee is both a polymath and a true original. Combining the influences of Scott Walker, Blood Orange, Arca, and Richard Dawson into a singular sound.

Rapper Chef has made waves not only because of his music career but also due to his contribution to the community. An ingrained part of his character is his desire to amplify the voices of those around him. He joins Danny Cliff on a lineup which also includes Glasgow based rapper Clarissa Woods and DJ and visual artist DIJA.

One Mississippi takes place at the Lemon Tree at 7 pm. Described as a hard-hitting play that explores how the impact of childhood experiences shapes men’s adult lives, One Mississippi blends humour and storytelling with powerful elements of physical theatre to create an uncompromising insight into what takes us to breaking point.

Danielle Jam

Focusing on Black and POC voices

The weekend will also feature a number of discussions focusing on the issue that black and POC creatives face in our white-dominated creative industries. A series of free talks and workshops taking place at the Music Hall Big Sky Studio on Saturday 14 May cover topics including representation within Scottish creative industries, climate narratives, knowing your worth, and culture and identity as an artistic influence among others.

Ica Headlam and Briana Pegado from We Are Here Scotland will host a talk about how Black and POC need to take the initiative to support their communities by building support structures and community organisations. While Tomiwa Folorunso will host a talk about how there needs to be a change in a predominantly white-dominated industry.

Rachel Thibbotumunuwe, learning manager at Aberdeen Archives, Art Gallery and Museums will discuss how North East Scotland can support Black and POC creatives and artists. There will also be a panel exploring the importance of representation in the industry, hosted by podcast producer Halina Rifai

And much more besides

This is just a small taste of what is on offer at Rise Up! See the Aberdeen Performing Art website for details on all the speakers and performers. Tickets are also available from APA.

https://postabdn.com/event/rise-up/

Aberdeen Performing Arts head Ben Torrie said: “Providing a stage for emerging talent and creating space for all voices to be heard is so important for a thriving artistic environment. Rise Up! is a hugely significant addition to Aberdeen’s cultural calendar this year. The sheer breadth of talent from the artists taking part is incredible. This festival is a fantastic opportunity to discover more about the diverse range of creatives here in the North East and beyond.

https://twitter.com/weareherescot/status/1513477179820105736?s=20&t=ifmUlcMVHx72D_jzr-Y8Zw

K:ART | Bringing Art Outdoors

Aberdeen’s Kekun art studio and Polka design studio have teamed up to create K:ART. They have designed this innovative mobile exhibition system to help artists easily display their work outdoors. They’ve developed a versatile design, aiming to support as many artists and art styles as possible.

The K:ARTs will be able to pop up in various public spaces around the city, either on their own or in groups. The units will become outdoor art spaces, enabling artists to create and transport installations, display works of art and sell their products. Quickly erecting art hubs for the public to visit and interact with.

The idea has been driven through funding that Elev8arts were awarded Creative Funding by Aberdeen City Council.



Breaking the reliance on indoor spaces

The team first set out to think of inventive ways to get around the challenges that the pandemic had caused artists during the pandemic. Particularly looking at their reliance on traditional shows in indoor spaces.

Online shows helped to some extent. But not enough was being done to make use of outdoor spaces. These provide a much-needed aspect of social interaction that's just not available in digital environments. At the same time, hospitality venues had quickly pivoted to outdoor spaces…even here in Aberdeen.

Circumstances are constantly changing as restrictions come to an end. But regardless of what happens in the future, the opportunities for such a model of engagement and display are endless.

Artists Mary Butterworth, Jon Reid and Jenny Hood are the team at Kekun Studio. They are excited about K:ARTs' potential to provide artists with freedom of expression and alternative methods of interaction with their communities.

K:ART model on display at The Anatomy Rooms

They explained: "We'd love to see K:ART being used in different ways with artists creating unique mini-exhibitions across the city. At this stage, we're trying to keep the feedback process open and inclusive so that we can make the design as adaptable to as many different artists' needs and practices as possible. We're excited to see the final prototype and where it might lead the project in the future."

Keeping K:ART simple makes it versatile

Callum Barrack from Polka design studio worked on the physical creation of K:ART. His recent work includes the design work at the Greyhope Bay Centre. He, along with the team at Kekun, recognised that the design of K:ART was hinged around keeping it light and versatile. This principle will allow artists the freedom to adapt to their imagination and needs.

Having gone through various design revisions. Design factors included display, versatility, and practicality, as well as materials, size, weight, storage, and manoeuvrability. Modifications to the base unit can lead to other variations. Larger two-person units, mini-units, or units with specific tailored purposes. And so it's adaptable as possible to give artists the freedom to explore their use of K:ART.

https://youtu.be/lwW0uYltCWY

We're excited to see what artists can make of K:ART, and can't wait to see them on the streets of the city. The potential to quickly and easily turn a park or a street corner into a pop-up art gallery is a fantastic prospect for Aberdeen.

The teams at Kekun and Polka are currently looking for input from artists in the city. If you think you might benefit from using a K:ART, please check out their project summary and fill in the short survey.

Feedback for the project is open until 21st April 2022.


Filmmaker crowdfunds supernatural 'Nights'

Nights is a feature-length crime drama currently being filmed in Aberdeen. It explores addiction, broken relationships, and the supernatural. This passion project has been self-funded until this point, but writer/director Omid Farkhondeh is now crowdfunding the film, with hopes to complete it later this year.

Production is currently about halfway through. A bank, nightclub, and train are among the more expensive locations in the next half of the project. This is why the team are asking for help from the public. Donations will go towards paying the cast and crew, finding locations, and arranging travel.



Director Omid Omid Farkhondeh on the set of Nights

The importance of teamwork on Nights

Teamwork plays a big role in bringing Nights to life. Together with cinematographer Alex Thomson, producer Rachel Venturini, editor Matthew Lukowski and sound operator Colin Harris, the group has thrived since they attended the same college. They have collaborated on a number of projects over the years, but this is their biggest one yet. It’s hoped that Nights will kick-start their careers in the industry.

With Nights, the team hope to create something unique by combining aspects of genres we all know and love. It aims to be as moving as it is exciting in tackling topics that we all care about, from relationships to toxic masculinity to addiction.

In addition to donations from the public, the filming will be supported by Creative Scotland, which has teamed up with Crowdfunder to offer up to £80,000 in funding to 20 creative projects throughout the country.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIm0oiOkipE

We loved hearing about this project. Our old friend Chef shared a post about it on Instagram. Intrigued, we reached out to ask a few questions.


The challenge of a project spanning several years

Making a feature film is a big bold undertaking. Who is Omid Farkhondeh and why have you embarked on this project?

I’m a filmmaker based in Aberdeen. Having studied a variety of media-related courses in Nescol and in there, found a strong passion for film. I quickly found I wanted to be a writer/director and I'm determined to make that a reality.

I find short films are a great way to tell short-form stories, enhance filmmaking skills and are quickly achievable (at least compared to a feature film), however, I find myself more attracted to feature-length stories where we can live through different experiences that our normal life may not offer - or on the flip side, it can be very personal, giving space to think more about deeper subjects.

One reason I'm making this film is it's less likely a career can thrive off of short films. Feature filmmaking can be employment potential for hundreds of people, depending on the size of production. I also enjoy the challenge of a project spanning several years, rather than weeks - the story I wrote in 2018 earned my commitment to see it as a finished film.

Crime, relationships and things that go bump in the night

Having watched the teaser trailer, we’re excited to see Nights once it’s finished. Without giving too much away, what is the film about?

It’s crime/drama with a supernatural twist. Crime, addiction, broken relationships and things that go bump in the night. Our protagonist, Adam, delves deeper into the world of crime to gain money in an attempt to save his girlfriend Sarah from her drug addiction. However, a sudden betrayal leads to supernatural consequences.

It's about a lot of different things that are important to me, relationships, what people do for love, mental health, addiction. It also has some more "fun" genre elements like supernatural and revenge thriller, but to me, it's a drama more than anything, supported by the other elements.

The process of making a film is by no means a smooth one. Can you tell us about the challenges you’ve encountered?

It has been a difficult project to keep alive, and moments, when it came to a stop, have been heartbreaking. Covid, recasting, struggling with finance to fund it and more have all been major challenges. But with the Crowdfunder, and finding a team as passionate as me, I'm confident we'll see it through to the best it can be.

I'm lucky to have found such talented, good people who are as passionate as me, so I want to give them their due and create something we're all proud of.  Definitely a team effort in getting over the hurdles though.

Something beautiful and personal

How has Aberdeen played a backdrop for this project?

Aberdeen has worked well as a backdrop for the film and will continue to add to the story. I treat it as a playground for us - a gothic "unknown" city in the film that could have all types of characters, but also something beautiful and personal comes with that - using places I've known for years as a fictional space has led to more creativity, not less.

You clearly have a lot of hopes and dreams attached to this project. What are your ambitions for the film?

I hope the film is something we're proud of as a team, but I do have hopes for it to succeed in film festivals across the world. We also plan to have the Nights premiere in a local cinema, that will be the day I can say "we've done it", although there will be more work in getting it to streaming services such as Amazon Prime.

https://youtu.be/riIJlM8zHy4

Showing support, and staying in touch

How can people help and get updates on the filming?

The Crowdfunder is the best way to support us. If you donate you'll have an option to receive updates we put out. However, following @Nightsfilm on Instagram, or UNRealityFilms on Facebook is another good way to keep up to date over the next few months.


Thanks very much to Omid for telling us all about Nights. It's a brilliant project and we can't wait to see it at the cinema. The team successfully achieved over double their initial target, but the Crowdfunder remains open until mid-April. Further donations will help the film reach its full potential, and it's a great way to be part of the project yourself.

Steph Poster

Rob Poster


Hazlehead Academy becomes Aberdeen's first school to be awarded the LGBT Charter

Community

Hazlehead Academy becomes Aberdeen's first school to be awarded the LGBT Charter

By Kevin Mitchell

The LGBT Charter, run by LGBT Youth Scotland, is a programme that enables an organisation or school to proactively include LGBTI people in every aspect and provide a high-quality service to students, clients and service users.

After a series of projects within the school for LGBT History Month with artists ‘Outlines Collective‘, a mural wall was designed and painted on the wall by artists Kirsty Lawie, Naomi Christie and Hazlehead pupils to celebrate the school’s creative positivity and awareness and proactive inclusion.

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Our man Grant chats with the cast of Mamma Mia at HMT!

Mamma Mia is in Aberdeen and POST sent the lovely Grant Martin along to HMT to give them a warm welcome! As usual, Grant went one step further! This time trying to blag a spot as the fourth Dynamo!

Is there a show you are looking forward to in the future? Let us know!

Join our newsletter!

But just before you continue reading, please consider signing up to our monthly newsletter. It’s a great round up of what's happening in the city.

No spam, just a collection of stories and images from the heart of Aberdeen. We use your email address solely for the purpose of administering the email newsletter. By subscribing, you agree with Revue’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.


Aberdeen Jazz Festival Returns and Here's This Years Programme!

Good news, Aberdeen! After last year’s successful online events and October hybrid programme, Scotland's second-largest jazz event 'The Aberdeen Jazz Festival' is back for 2022, from March 17th - 27th with a full 10-day programme of exciting live events across the city!

This year the Aberdeen Jazz Festival will be featured in an expanded range of venues and even some stunning and unexpected settings! With favourite Festival places like The Blue Lamp, Lemon Tree, Spin, and Queen’s Cross Church on the schedule, but also the first-ever chance to hear top-quality acoustic artists in the afternoon at the Cowdray Hall; to step inside the magnificent, wood-panelled Society of Advocates plus check out a series of specially-commissioned performances in the historic Bon Accord Baths.

Soundbath (photo by Alastair Robb)

Aberdeen Jazz Festival – Venues and artists

The wide variety of venues is matched by the diverse range of music on offer from swing to funk; gypsy jazz to blues-rock; classy jazz vocals to late-night grooves. Highlights include ‘Jazz the Day!’ - a chance to mix and match 8 great events, across 3 venues, all with 1 ticket on Saturday 26th March - the perfect option when there are simply too many great events to choose from.

Included in the afternoon are well-established names alongside newcomers and new collaborations plus the chance for the audience to get in amongst the action by singing, dancing or playing with Ali Affleck’s all-star band.

SoundBath - a series of site-specific performances in the historic Bon Accord Baths

Another of the festival’s more unusual events is SoundBath - a series of site-specific performances in the historic Bon Accord Baths. Closed to the public since 2008, the vast, light-drenched, atmospheric cathedral-like space will inspire new music by Victoria Fifield and others. Not only a visual spectacle, but the acoustics of the cavernous Art Deco building will also create an amazing aural experience, with sound reverberating around the tiled walls and pool floor. A great unique opportunity to step inside and immerse yourself in this hugely atmospheric space filled with memories.

Soundbath (photo by Alastair Robb)

To further illustrate the diversity on offer, pianist Brian Kellock will take centre stage at Queen’s Cross Church to perform a sumptuous version of Gershwin’s classic Rhapsody in Blue, specially arranged for piano and a hand-picked 8-piece string orchestra. Meanwhile, at the other end of the musical spectrum, Young Pilgrims - an extraordinary 9-piece brass band brimming with jazz-rock energy - will be in residency for the festival’s final weekend. This is part of the festival’s drive to encourage sustainable practices, with travelling bands encouraged to contribute to the festival in several ways such as through collaborations and workshops.

Well-known names on the Scottish jazz scene abound with the Martin Kershaw Quartet; Latin jazz heroes, Son al Son, and pianist Alan Benzie’s Tribute to Herbie Hancock at the Blue Lamp; Rose Room and Ali Affleck’s Jazz Divas at the Cowdray Hall. Aberdeen musicians are also well represented, both those living here and star performers coming back home. Matthew Kilner will lead a two tenor sax band with Konrad Wiszniewski; Trombonist, Kieran McLeod, now a top name on the London jazz scene, will make his Festival debut as a leader, there will also be several performances by musicians from further afield including the genre-defying Shapes of Time Trio featuring Oone Van Geel and Mark Haanstra from the Netherlands plus Scotland’s very own Graeme Stephen. Blues-rock is well represented in the programme with the legendary King King and Gerry Jablonski and the Electric Band performing at the Lemon Tree, plus Missouri-based blues power trio Hooten Hallers set to raise the rafters at the Blue Lamp.

Matt Carmichael

First time national jazz organisation has been based in Aberdeen!

This will be the first Aberdeen Jazz Festival organised by a new team, as Festival promoter Jazz Scotland is delighted to announce the appointment of its new CEO Coralie Usmani. With a background in music education and community engagement as well as being a regular performer on the Aberdeen jazz scene, Coralie brings a wealth of experience and fresh ideas to the role.

Tickets and info

Ticket prices range from free to £25 and are available from www.aberdeenjazzfestival.com

The full line-up is available here: https://jazzscotland.com/collections/aberdeenjazzfestival

Featured image: AiiTee


Brighten up your winter nights at Belmont Filmhouse

As we make our way from Winter through to Spring, Aberdeen's Belmont Filmhouse cinema is a great way to brighten up a dark night or two. Their warm welcoming cinema screens have a wide range of films and seasons to enjoy.

We've taken a closer look at some of the screenings you can look forward to on top of their regular programming of new releases from the UK and around the world.



We see the head and shoulders of a woman with long blonde curly hair and a sun kissed complexion. She
Touched by collectives T A P E and Invisible Women

T A P E x Invisible Women Present: Touched | Sunday 13 Feb

Celebrate the diversity and fluidity of desire with Touched, an alternative early Valentine’s Day screening showcasing sensuous shorts by female and non-binary filmmakers. Co-curated by collectives T A P E and Invisible Women, this subversive and surprising programme connects filmmakers from across the decades, combining contemporary work with rarities from the archive.

Complemented by a Q&A, the result is a witty, intimate and unapologetically sexy selection of films that open up space for wider discussions about self-love, intimacy and longing. All short films and the Q&A are captioned.

https://youtu.be/UBUfCL_tvro

Boiling Point | from Fri 18 Feb

Back by Popular Demand is the now BAFTA nominated high pressure, one-take drama BOILING POINT starring the brilliant Stephen Graham. The Guardian called this brilliant 2021 dark comedy a "spicy nerve-jangler served with a chargrilled side order of jet-black gallows humour."

https://youtu.be/izIycj3j4Ow

Belle | from Tue 1 Mar

Suzu is a shy high school student living in a rural village. For years, she has only been a shadow of herself. But when she enters "U", a massive virtual world, she escapes into her online persona as Belle, a globally-beloved singer. A visionary new anime from acclaimed Studio Chizu, BELLE, burns bright on our screens.

https://youtu.be/dZRqB0JLizw

Death on the Nile | from Fri 11 Feb

While on vacation on the Nile, Hercule Poirot must investigate the murder of a young heiress. Kenneth Branagh directs and stars in this lavish, all-star new take on the Agatha Christie mystery classic DEATH ON THE NILE from the makers of Murder on the Orient Express. There will be a BSL screening on 27 Feb. Check the Belmont Filmhouse website for details on this and more BSL screenings.

https://youtu.be/IT1KnkyHSo4

Charlie Chaplin season

Also in February, alongside the new documentary THE REAL CHARLIE CHAPLIN, Belmont Filmhouse will screen some of the master’s great works including:

· Tues 22 Feb – The Kid & The Gold Rush
· Wed 23 Feb – The Gold Rush
· Thurs 24 Feb – City Lights
· Sat 26 Feb + Sun 27 Feb – The Great Dictator & Modern Times
· Mon 28 Feb - Limelight

https://youtu.be/n2igjYFojUo

Belmont Filmhouse Juniors

Films for a younger audience every Saturday and Sunday! Tickets cost £5 per person

· Sat 12 & Sun 13 Feb – The Jungle Book
· Sat 19 & Sun 20 Feb – The King and the Mockingbird
· Sat 26 & Sun 27 Feb – Fantastic Mr Fox

https://youtu.be/R4PkA26wEA0

For Crying Out Loud

Screenings for carers and their babies on Monday morning! Tickets are £5 per adult.

· Mon 14 Feb – Death on the Nile
· Mon 21 Feb – The Eyes of Tammy Faye
· Mon 28 Feb – The Duke

Find out more

Head to the Belmont Filmhouse website for more information and follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


SPECTRA 2022 - All you need to know

https://youtu.be/ZHYGVEiQlGM

SPECTRA is back for 2022 with a luminescent line-up ready to light up Aberdeen’s dark winter nights. This year artists, exploring Scotland’s Year of Stories, feature stunning new commissions, collaborations and Scottish premieres.

The massive event, which in previous years has drawn huge crowds, will take place between the 10th and 13th February. The city centre venues preparing to light up your night are Marischal College, Union Street, Broad Street, Upperkirkgate, Schoolhill, Marischal Square, Aberdeen Music Hall, and for the first time, inside Aberdeen Art Gallery.

Plan your visit with our SPECTRA 2022 interactive map





Writ Large

The SPECTRA 2022 highlight will be the world premiere of Writ Large, commissioned as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories. Created in conjunction with prize-winning arts production house Neu Reekie, Writ Large combines creative light installations with words to bring Scottish prose and poetry to life.

Comprising a series of five new commissions which explode the colourful and couthie words of contemporary Scottish poets, writers, musicians and artists onto buildings across the city centre including Aberdeen Art Gallery, Marischal College, Castlegate, Upper Kirkgate, and also Schoolhill.

A young girl stands in the lower centre frame. It's dark with figures partially visible in the background. A huge ring of digital text is dramatically displayed high above her head.
Spectra 2022 | Together by Lucid Creates | Photo by Susan Strachan

Together

In addition to the world premiere of Writ Large, Together makes its Scottish debut at SPECTRA in 2022. This spectacular public-art installation. It offers audiences a unique and immersive experience generated by the written and spoken stories of local communities, artists and collaborators. It will dominate the Castlegate in Aberdeen city centre.

From design and fabrication studio Lucid Creates, Together was created as a reaction to the isolation of lockdown. This huge pavilion-like open space is designed as a place in which communities can come together to celebrate their unity and uniqueness. It's the first time ever that it has come north of the border.

Spectra 2022 | Gaia by Luke Jerram | Photo by Susan Strachan

Gaia and Museum of the Moon

And in another first, Aberdeen will welcome Gaia and Museum of the Moon by artist Luke Jerram. These awe-inspiring pieces take over two icon Aberdeen locations. They'll also be accompanied by a specially made surround sound composition by BAFTA award winning composer Dan Jones.

Located in the Sculpture Court of Aberdeen Art Gallery, Gaia provides the opportunity to see our planet, floating in three dimensions, and this 7-meter diameter installation creates a sense of awe and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.

Where Gaia gives viewers a perspective on earth, suspended in Aberdeen Music Hall, Museum of the Moon gives us a similarly breath-taking depiction of the Moon. Inspired by the fact that different cultures around the world have their own historical, cultural, scientific and religious relationships to the Moon. And yet, despite these differences, the Moon connects them all. Museum of the Moon is a fusion of lunar imagery, moonlight and surround sound.

Spectra is a fun and illuminating festival for all the family

Speaking about this year’s SPECTRA, Andy Brydon, Director at Curated Place, said: “We are over the moon (pun intended) to be welcoming so many amazing artists, collectives and creators to Aberdeen as part of SPECTRA, Scotland’s festival of light, this year. Thanks to the recent lifting of Covid-19 restrictions, we can continue to deliver a safe, fun and illuminating festival suitable for all the family.”

Pendulum Wave Machine from Travelling Light Circus

Pendulum Wave Machine

The incredible Pendulum Wave Machine, located at Broad Street, sees shimmering silver balls hanging in the air like floating mercury. They dance their way through patterns of order and patterns of chaos and alongside it, Hypercube resembles an infinity mirror in 3 dimensions. Featuring over 2,500 high density, high intensity LEDs between 6 perfectly engineered faces of a giant cube. It is also believed to be the biggest hypercube in the world. Both installations are the work of Travelling Light Circus.

Spectra 2022 | Trumpet Flowers by amigo and amigo | Photo by Susan Strachan

Trumpet Flowers

Trumpet Flowers by amigo and amigo is also located on Broad Street and is one of this year’s only interactive installations. It is also the first time it has ever been seen in Scotland. These super-sized structures immerse audiences in a jungle of light, colour and sound. Visitors can make their own spectacular floral symphony of sound and light. In addition, catch one of the scheduled animated musicals scores throughout the evening.

Six Frames

And, last but by no means least, at Marischal Collage another world premiere will unfold as Six Frames from Illuminos takes centre stage. A playful interpretation of six stanzas from Sheena Blackhall’s poem, “On the Bus: nummer 1 route” Six Frames uses six repeating sections of the Marischal College façade alongside principles found in flick books and early animation, to take us on a journey through Aberdeen from the bus route of the poem.

Stay in touch with SPECTRA Aberdeen

Twitter: @SPECTRAaberdeen
Facebook: @Spectraaberdeen
Insta: @Spectraaberdeen
Website: spectrafestival.co.uk


Crime and cocktails: Granite Noir back for bloodcurdling festival

Aberdeen crime-writing festival, Granite Noir, will return in-person in February. Mystery, music, crime and cocktails are on the menu in the latest event. There will be a full programme of live, in-person events, workshops and performances.

In it's sixth year the festival is now a mainstay of Aberdeen's events programme. It has introduced audiences to amazing spaces around the city. This year that will include the Kirk of Saint Nicholas Uniting, the Central Library, Cowdray Hall and the Lemon Tree.



Jane Spiers, Aberdeen Performing Arts Chief Executive, is clearly thrilled about Granite Noir 2022. She told us," With true heavyweights of the genre next to the bold new voices of the future, we have a jam-packed weekend of events in store which really reflect the festival's firm North East roots, as well as attracting an international fanbase who return year after year to join us for what is a true celebration of crime fiction. Since its inception Granite Noir has really captured imaginations, and with author talks, exhibitions music and of course cocktails to enjoy, it would be a crime to miss it!"

The festival will welcome home-grown talent to the stage. This includes best-selling Scottish author Louise Welsh who introduces The Second Cut. It's the brand-new and long-awaited sequel to her award-winning The Cutting Room. Ann Cleeves, the creator of popular detectives Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez, will be joined by Alex Gray and Lin Anderson in a conversation chaired by Jenny Brown. World-renowned forensic anthropologist Professor Dame Sue Black and Professor Andrew Doig come together in an exploration of The Mysteries of Life and Death.

Authors delving into the murky past of Scotland’s history include Denise Mina. She will shed light on the death of David Rizzio. Along side her, Jenni Fagan will examine the obsessive mania of a king who saw the threat of witches all around him. S W Perry looks back to the sixteenth century with The Heretic’s Mark as does The Green Lady, Sue Lawrence’s tale of abduction and political turmoil set within Aberdeenshire’s Fyvie Castle. Leonora Nattrass dives into the revolutionary intrigue of 18th century London. Furthermore, Sara Sheridan sets her mystery in and around Edinburgh’s botanical gardens in 1822.

The Grit in the Granite

This is a new exhibition from Aberdeen City & Aberdeenshire Archives. The Grit in the Granite exposes the darker side of Victorian Aberdeen. The Granite City’s population more than doubled in the 19th century when many magnificent buildings were constructed. Yet beneath the grand façade lurked grinding poverty leading to destitution, juvenile delinquency, crime and prostitution. One victim brought to life in an accompanying talk by Dr Dee Hoole, from the University of Aberdeen, and Phil Astley, City Archivist at Aberdeen City & Aberdeenshire Archives, is Grace McIntosh who made her first court appearance in 1838 aged just 11. Her repeated trials and incarceration left a remarkable historical record of a life lived in poverty and desperation.

Novelists often ensure that the scene of the crime is a character in its own right and their detectives are shaped by the cities in which their stories take place. Granite Noir Ambassador Stuart MacBride joins Alan Parks and Marion Todd in a conversation with Sally Magnusson about their detectives and their relationship with the three Scottish cities in which their books are set. Leela Soma draws masterfully on her own dual-heritage to capture Glasgow’s richly multi-cultural nature in her novel, Murder at the Mela. International voices include Norway’s Kjell Ola Dahl who paints a fascinating portrait of Oslo’s interwar years while Swedish author, and former police officer, Anders de la Motte introduces Dead of Winter which he has set in a small, remote, rural community. A new voice from the Scandi-Noir genre is Silje Ulstein whose debut Reptile Memoirs is already a bestseller in Norway.

Champions of new writing

As well as well-kent names, Granite Noir champions new writing and the 2022 Festival welcomes debut novels from American author Ryan Collett, award-winning Scottish short story writer Euan Gault and Northern Ireland’s Hannah King. Airdrie author Graeme Armstrong’s debut The Young Team takes a look at the gang culture of central Scotland from the inside while Aberdeen University graduate Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé introduces Ace of Spades, an incendiary and compelling thriller with a shocking twist that delves deep into institutionalised racism. Locals in the Limelight returns with six of Aberdeenshire’s talented new writers reading extracts from their noir fiction. For anyone who has ever dreamed about becoming a published author, award-winning literary agent Jenny Brown hosts a workshop on How To Get Published covering everything from self-publishing to how to get yourself an agent.

Dr Julia Shaw, a psychological scientist (UCL) and a science communicator, is best known for her work in the areas of memory and criminal psychology. Sofie Hagen is a London-based Danish comedian, podcaster, and activist. Together they co-host the hugely popular and award-winning Bad People Podcast. They will be sharing some gripping stories and deplorable deeds in a live recording of an episode of this true crime podcast in front of the Granite Noir audience. Dr Kathryn Harkup follows her sold out 2020 Poisoned Cocktail workshop with a look at the reality behind the silly, and not so silly, ways to die in the world of 007. Audiences can lift the lid on the science behind the world’s most popular secret agent and sample his favourite cocktails along the way.

Anne Cleaves | Granite Noir

Aberdeen-based Ten Feet Tall Theatre presents Witch Hunt, a new production specially created for Granite Noir. Delving into Aberdeen’s past the performance brings women accused of witchcraft in the 16th and 17th centuries back to life to tell their stories in the atmospheric setting of Kirk of Saint Nicholas Uniting. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most celebrated adventure, The Hound of the Baskervilles, gets a brilliantly farcical overhaul in Lotte Wakeham’s acclaimed production at Her Majesty’s Theatre. This ingenious adaptation offers a brand-new twist on possibly the greatest detective story of all time.

Granite Noir 2022 culminates with a performance by the world-renowned BBC Big Band who return to Aberdeen with a specially curated programme of classic TV and movie sound-tracks, from Shaft, Mission Impossible, James Bond, The Pink Panther and more to classic Big Band and swing numbers inspired by all things crime.

How is Granite Noir funded?

Granite Noir 2020 is supported by Aberdeen City Council and Creative Scotland and EventScotland. Councillor Marie Boulton, culture spokesperson for Aberdeen City Council, said: “Despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, Granite Noir has continued to grow its reputation as one of the UK’s premier literary festivals, and the 2022 edition promises to be one of the best yet. As well attracting established authors of international renown, it has over the years provided a platform for emerging talent, whilst bringing a distinctive North-east flavour to proceedings with innovative events. Granite Noir is helping mark out Aberdeen as a culture capital – and the council is proud to invest in its staging.”

Creative Scotland’s Alice Tarbuck said: “Granite Noir brilliantly links literature to the cityscape of Aberdeen, providing a rich offering of events in the North East of Scotland. A varied and inviting programme is sure to pique interest with a dazzling array of authors like Louise Welsh, Jenni Fagan and Leonora Nattrass alongside prodigious newer names like Graeme Armstrong.”

What you need to know

Tickets for all Granite Noir events are on sale to Aberdeen Performing Arts Friends on Wednesday 15 December at 10am and on general sale on Thursday 16 December at 10am. Tickets can be booked at granitenoir.com, by calling 01224 641122 and in person from the Box Office at the Music Hall and His Majesty’s Theatre.


About POST

Kevin Mitchell and Chris Sansbury founded POST from a desire to cut through the noise to share the great things that happen in Aberdeen. They therefore focus on community, culture and the interesting people of the city. The local artists, businesses and charities; photographers, musicians and entertainers; the people at a local level that make a positive impact on our city each and every day. So they use video, audio, writing and social media to amplify the voices in our community, and to ultimately give a platform to Aberdeen folk to engage and tell their own stories.

Recent work includes interviews with We Are Here Scotland founder Ica Headlam; Paralympic gold medalist, Neil FachieChef, an Aberdeen rapper who is pushing for success; an article by film director Mark Stirton about the state of high-rise buildings in the city; coverage of Nuart Aberdeen and TEDx Aberdeen, as well as coverage of British Art Show 9.

So visit postabdn.com now to read a great selection of interviews and articles.


Vision Portraits director Rodney Evans sits on an underground train with the window behind him. His eyes are closed and the black handle of his cane is visible in front of him.

Caption This | New pop-up cinema dedicated to disabled audiences

A brand new accessible cinema experience launches to audiences this week. Caption This is a new series of pop-up cinema events with an aim to represent and engage disabled audiences. They aim to champion diverse stories both about and for those with a disability. Their first screening will feature the documentary Vision Portraits on 17-19 November.

The pop-up cinema strives to empower and prioritise Deaf and Disabled communities by reflecting this value in its programming and access measures. Audiences can look forward to a series of hybrid, virtual and in-person screenings throughout the year and across Scotland.


A red outline of three cinema seats, with a white rectangular outline depicting a screen. In the screen, the words "Caption This". Below, the words "accessible cinema".
Caption This Cinema Logo

Charlotte Little - The driving force behind Caption This

The driving force behind the project is Charlotte Little, a deafblind Aberdeenshire access consultant with a passion for curation. She campaigns for for a better experience for disabled audiences, drawing on her own experience as a moviegoer. Speaking ahead of the launch, Charlotte told us, “Growing up, I never saw positive, authentic on-screen stories about disabled people. I didn’t experience my first accessible cinema trip until I was 17. Also, I didn’t see myself on the big screen until I was 20. I want to change that for the generations of young disabled kids after me.

She went on to explain why this means so much to her. Telling us, “I want disabled people to feel valued as audience members. I don’t want access to be an afterthought or seen as a burden. Working as an access consultant within the film exhibition sector and having a personal perspective as a hard of hearing and partially sighted moviegoer, I’ve seen how far we’ve come but I’ve also realised how much work we have left to do in order to standardise inclusive cinema experiences.

Charlotte Little is standing at the back of an empty cinema. She is wearing a black face mask and is holding a blue and red box filled with popcorn.
Charlotte Little | Caption This Cinema

First showing | Vision Portraits 17-19 November

The first film showing as part of Caption This is the 2019 documentary Vision Portraits. It's a deeply personal documentary by filmmaker Rodney Evans in which he explores what it means to have vision while losing his own sight. Odie Henderson at rogerebert.com called it "an inspiring film. A funny and informative feature whose subjects were creative kindred spirits I’d never seen onscreen before."

Charlotte's passion for cinema is hugely infectious. A passion that she doesn't let go to waste. She's fighting to bring as many people into the cinema as she can, especially those who have felt under-represented. She told us, “I want more spaces and events that celebrate and prioritise representation and accessibility. I set up Caption This as my own contribution. Vision Portraits is our inaugural film because I’ve struggled with pursuing a career in the film industry as someone who’s losing their sight. I saw myself in Rodney Evans’ journey, and I hope that by showcasing this beautiful documentary, I’ll lend a hand to deconstructing the harmful misconception that blind and partially sighted people can’t be creative, that they can’t thrive and succeed in the arts, that they don’t have vision.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJzkxdUvWSI
Vision Portraits Trailer (Captioned)

What you need to know

Vision Portraits will be available to watch through the screening platform Eventive from Wednesday 17th to Friday 19th November. The film will have English captions available as well as English audio description. Tickets will be on a pay-what-you-can sliding scale from £0, £2, £4, £6, £8. There will also be a live discussion over Zoom and live-streamed to Eventive on Friday 19 November at 7pm with guest speakers Theresa Heath and Tara Brown. The live discussion will have live captioning, BSL interpretation, and the host and guest speakers will provide visual descriptions of themselves to make the event more accessible for partially sighted audiences.

Get tickets now on Event Live
Follow Caption This on Twitter
Event page on Facebook


About POST

POST was founded by Kevin Mitchell and Chris Sansbury. They have a desire to cut through the noise to share the great things that happen in Aberdeen. We focus on community, culture and the interesting people of the city. The local artists, businesses and charities; photographers, musicians and entertainers; the people at a local level that make a positive impact on our city each and every day.

Our recent work includes interviews with We Are Here Scotland founder Ica Headlam; Paralympic gold medalist, Neil FachieChef, an Aberdeen rapper who is pushing for success; an article by film director Mark Stirton about the state of high-rise buildings in the city; coverage of Nuart Aberdeen and TEDx Aberdeen, as well as coverage of British Art Show 9.