A PERFORMANCE inspired by the Paisley Witch Trials is to take to the stage on Halloween.

Outlander star Kim Smart is set to star in Seraphina when it launches next month.

The cast combines community and professional performers, singers and musicians and has been funded as part of Paisley's bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Among those performing alongside the Outlander star, who played Nesle de la Tourelle in the cult show, will be Helen Quinn from Clydebank, Megan Fraser from Inverness, Julie Heatherill form Edinburgh and Christie Gourlay from Falkirk.

Composer Sev Ka has been charged with writing the score, which will be performed by a choir of 16 singers - including women from Glasgow and Ayr, as well as ex MSP Rosie Kane.

The play aims to explore femininity, power and female exploitation.

It uses the story of witches and the trials of 1600s as a starting point, and how witches have been viewed throughout the history.

Scotland tried up to 4,000 witches in the 17th century, with Paisley being the site of one of the most famous trials in1696.

Christian Shaw, an eleven-year-old girl and daughter of the Laird of Bargarran, began showing signs of being possessed.

It is claimed she vomited up items including egg shells, orange pills, pins, hair, excrement and bones.

On visiting a Glasgow doctor, she vomited up a coal cylinder which was roasting hot, according to medics, and she was deemed to have a paranormal affliction.

The child blamed a group of witches for her problems and eventually seven people were accused of witchcraft and cursing the girl.

They were found guilty, and six of them were strangled and burnt to death, while another took their own life.

Rachel Jury, Artistic Director of production firm conFAB, said: "Seraphina comes to the stage at an interesting time for women: we have two female leaders of Scotland and England.

"With Seraphina, I wanted to look at feminine power and how, historically and up to the present day, patriarchy has exploited women causing the suffering of women, men and the Earth and how today it threatens our very survival. "The story of this exploitation is told through the history of Witches and how they have been perceived through time.

"I am delighted that the play is supported through Renfrewshire's Culture, Heritage and Events Fund as part of Paisley's bid for UK City of Culture 2021 and look forward to the conversations I hope the production will inspire those local and those not so local to Paisley.”

The show will be held at Paisley's Wynd Auditorium between October 31 and November 4.

Tickets, priced between £5 and £10 are available from www.seraphina.brownpapertickets.com or telephone: 0345 130 5218