For the first time, Bloody Scotland are staging a play as part of our international festival of crime writing. We are excited to reveal our fantastic cast for the play – serial killer Peter Manuel will be played by Scottish actor Martin McCormick, whilst his mother will be played by well-loved Scottish actress Gerda Stevenson.

Exclusive to Bloody Scotland, the play Peter Manuel: The Beast of Birkenshaw has been penned by award-winning playwright Marilyn Imrie (BBC, Lyceum) and will be set in Stirling’s atmospheric  Sheriff Court. It is based on the trial transcripts of the court case that convicted Peter Manuel, one of Scotland’s most notorious serial killers, of seven counts of murder, and condemned him to death by hanging.

Martin recently starred in Alan Bissett’s play The Pure, the Dead and the Brilliant at

the Edinburgh Fringe, where his stand-out performance as Black Donald was praised as “played with immense presence and charisma” (

Gerda was described as “Scotland’s finest actress” by the Scotsman’s Jackie McGlone.

Gerda Stevenson trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London, where she won the Vanbrugh Award. She has worked for over 30 years on stage, television, radio and film throughout Britain and abroad.

Martin McCormick graduated as an actor from the RSAMD in 2007. His acting credits include work with the NTS, Royal Lyceum Edinburgh, the Tron, the Citz, Dundee Rep, Manchester Royal Exchange, Grid Iron, Paines Plough, the Arches, Magnetic North, MacRobert, Random Accomplice, Vox Motus & A Play, A Pie and A Pint. He has also performed in TV and radio.

Peter Manuel: The Beast of Birkenshaw is only being staged at Bloody Scotland 2014, where there will be three performances in Stirling Sheriff Court on Sunday 21st September, at 12PM, 2PM and 4PM.

Tickets are available from our website, or call the box office at Stirling Tolbooth on 01786 27 4000