Breathing new life into old Deeside tales

St Margaret’s Braemar plays host to a brand new commission in music and storytelling this Saturday, April 23, as the curtain is raised on ‘Legendary Braemar’.

By Dawn Renton
Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 7:17 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 7:17 am
Chris Stout, Catriona McKay and Sheena Blackhall at St Margaret's Braema

The collaboration, featuring award-winning musical duo Chris Stout (fiddle) and Catriona McKay (harp) alongside North East Makar Sheena Blackhall and actor Hamish Somers, explores landscape, love and legends from the upper Deeside area.

The work has been specially created for the magical, intimate surrounds of St Margaret’s Braemar, drawing inspiration from this unique corner of the Grampians which has borne witness to major historical events and spawned countless ghost stories.

The performers will weave together spoken word and music, immersing the audience in this world of local lore and legend as four old stories are retold: ‘The Beast of Kindrochit’, ‘Silver’, ‘Colonel Anne Farquharson’ and ‘The Murder of Sergeant Davies’.

The event will breathe new life into Deeside tales

St Margaret’s venue manager Lyndsey Boden said: “This is going to be a very special event indeed — with some old Deeside legends brought back to life by some very talented performers.

“Sheena Blackhall is such a natural and spellbinding storyteller, steeped in the rich heritage and culture of Deeside. Alongside Hamish Somers, they make a formidable double act in retelling some old Braemar stories.

“Combine this with the virtuoso musical sensitivity of Shetland fiddler Chris Stout and the incredible Catriona Mckay on harp and you’ve got the makings of a truly unforgettable show.”

Sheena Blackhall said: “It was very exciting for me to be asked to explore the landscape and legends of Braemar. My aunt Nancy Mackintosh came from Corriemunzie and my family ran the Deeside bus service from Aberdeen to Braemar for over 40 years. I hope this event will serve as a portal bringing more folk into the area to discover its hidden treasures in music, tales and mystery.”

Chris Stout said: “This is hugely exciting for us. It is an opportunity to create new music, directly responding to Sheena’s stories, the legends and the landscape. The acoustics in St Margaret’s are amazing and beautiful to play in. I can only imagine it would be beautiful to listen to music here as well so I’m strongly encourage people to come along and enjoy the performance.”

Legendary Braemar premieres at St Margaret’s this Saturday. Doors open at 7.30pm, with tickets from £7. Visit stmargaretsbraemar.org.uk