Taking over the reins of Aberdeen’s Lemon Tree is artistic director is Ben Torrie, standing in for Cate MacPherson who has taken a year’s adoption leave.

It was an internal appointment, as Torrie has worked for Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA), which now runs The Lemon Tree, along with His Majesty’s Theatre and the Music Hall, for 18 months as sales manager, with responsibility for running the company’s box office and marketing functions.

Torrie admits he is “thrilled, excited, daunted and nervous” at the prospect of his new role. “My background has involved many facets of the performing arts,” he said. “I have played the piano for nearly 20 years, and have performed in and around Aberdeen, as a soloist and accompanist. “While a student at Aberdeen University, I took on a summer job assisting in the offices of the Aberdeen International Youth Festival – the next year, I became their box office and front of house manager and enjoyed five productive and hectic festivals in that role.”

After graduating with a degree in mathematics, Torrie decided his future lay with the arts and as well as teaching piano, he worked with Puppet Animation Scotland. “It organises a fantastic festival of children’s puppet theatre across Scotland, and acts as an advocacy and development agency for professional puppeteers in Scotland,” he said.

"I spent two enjoyable years as administrator and then general manager with them, before going to APA as sales manager. My aims over the course of my stay at the Lemon Tree are to reinstall the venue at the forefront of the public’s minds as a top quality venue for the very best music, comedy, drama and dance. I plan to ensure that the programme is varied, exciting, and of the very highest quality available. Customer service is a major priority and we want to offer the best facilities for all users of the venue.”