The Terror Seasons

Theatre of Horror and Grand Guignol.

Plays, magic, cabaret and other oddities for the Halloween season.

‘An unusual feature of the theatrical calendar, unquestionably imaginative
and unlike almost anything else you will see on the London stage. One of the highlights of my theatrical year.’ (The Stage)

The Terror Seasons began in 2004 at the award-winning and atmospheric Union Theatre in Southwark. With an eclectic mix of classic, cult and comic book horror, Britain’s first annual Festival of Horror Theatre and Grand Guignol made an immediate impact.

The controversial event has consistently sold out, divided the critics (enraged many) and in 2007 was nominated for a Peter Brook Empty Space Award. In 2009 it moved to the atmospheric vaults of The Southwark Playhouse and in 2011 to Soho Theatre where it was nominated for Best Entertainment at the Off West End Theatre Awards.

The event commissions new plays from leading contemporary playwrights. Contributors have included: Mark Ravenhill, Neil LaBute, April DeAngelis, Anthony Neilson, Lucy Kirkwood, Jack Thorne, Alex Jones, Mike McShane and Daragh Carville.

The programme of short shockers are woven together with dark cabaret from award-winners Des O’Connor and Sarah-Louise Young, with twisted turns from other artists, providing an eccentric variety evening of Grand Guignol reinvented for the 21st century.

In 2007, Terror staged the first ever revival of Noel Coward’s The Better Half, originally written for London’s Grand Guignol in 1922. Other notable productions include Mark Ravenhill’s The Experiment (which subsequently transferred to the Latitude Festival and UK tour) and Darren Ormandy’s Hamburg (which transferred to the Edinburgh Festival).

‘These short shockers ooze nasty glee. The work of an impressive roster of writing talent, the plays that comprise Terror, have in common a confluence between violence and muddled modern gender politics. And they all display a degree of self-reflection that questions both the process and conventions of representing the unthinkable and our motives for watching it. It’s murkily intriguing.’ (The Times)

‘Pulling out all the stops for this night packed to the cobwebby rafters.’ (Metro)

‘An entertaining night out which mixes the gruesome and the giggly to good effect.’ (The Guardian)

‘Massively imaginative. Darkly disturbing and funny. A fringe institution.’ (Time Out)

A chance to enjoy genuinely disturbing works by top writers – you won’t be disappointed.’ (London Lite)

‘Warped, creepy and morally ambiguous.’ (What’s On

‘A visceral and exceptionally painful shock to the system. An overwhelming experience and one that will leave you shell-shocked.’ (The Scotsman)

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