Theatre of Horror and Grand Guignol. Plays, magic, cabaret and other oddities for the Halloween season.
‘The dark, rain-lashed cobbles of Southwark and the cloak-and-dagger feel of the Union Theatre once again perfectly set the scene for the 3rd annual Festival of Horror Theatre.’
‘Poetical impeccably restrained psychodrama.’
‘This festival is an unusual feature of the theatrical calendar and while it might only suit those with somewhat bloody tastes, it is unquestionably imaginative and unlike almost anything else you will see on the London stage’
‘Just the thing for Halloween.’
‘Lighting and sound throughout the line-up is impeccable and all three directors fully appreciate the importance of such effects in creating an atmosphere for horror.’
The Disappearance by M R James
Adapted by Daragh Carville
With Scott Brooksbank, Simon Lloyd, Seamus Allen, Jamie Bower.
Directed by Adam Meggido.
Original music by Jon Boden.
‘A terribly jolly time was had in The Disappearance by Daragh Carville, with the brilliant Scott Brooksbank who arrives at an atmospherically soundscaped inn to find his lost uncle. Only to instead find his dreams menaced by a grotesque, life-sized Punch and Judy show, whose giant, grinning papier-mache heads and brutal babysitting methods were as tangibly nightmarish as the Grand Guignol that splendidly splattered the stage.’
‘Having watched The Disappearance, Punch and Judy shows will never be the same again. A sinister tale, revolving around a pair of macabre travelling entertainers, it creates a wonderful nightmarish and vaudevillian world … hits the mark superbly.’
‘Highly imaginative direction by Adam Meggido.’
The Rose Garden by William Stewart
Adapted from a story by MR James
Presented by Natural Perspectives
With Charlotte Asprey, Gemma Larke, Thomas McGairl, Scott Christie.
Directed by Jason Lawson.
‘A talented cast … considerable comedic talents of Scott Christie in dual roles as an old time comedian and rather worldly vicar.’
‘Good old fashioned horror – Definitely a must see for this time of the year.’
Normal by Anthony Neilson
With Bill Buckhurst, Simon Lenagan, Tess Mawle.
Directed by Bill Buckhurst.
‘Lenagan is powerfully dominantly deadpan here; Mawle’s dulcet mildness slips convincingly into erotic abjection, while Buckhurst’s self-doubt matures alarmingly into the investigation of his own inner Ripper. Buckhurst also directs, and rather than plunder the piece for predictable period thrills, he pushes it as far as he can into your discomfort zone.’
‘The evening’s undoubted highlight is the intense and disturbing Normal. This play, set in interwar Germany, explores the real life horrors committed by Peter Kurten – the Dusseldorf Ripper – and examines the depths of brutality to which man can be driven. The three-person cast all put in good turns and Tess Mawle’s performance as the mass murderer’s wife is particularly impressive.’
‘Disturbing and intense.’
‘Britain’s sickest, most original and underrated playwright … as it unfolds in the shadows before you, as performed by an excellent cast, this is a really nasty piece of work for Halloween.’
‘The most disturbing and intense play of the evening with superb performances.’
Cast And Crew
Artistic Director – Adam Meggido
Set Designer – Robyn Wilson
Costume Designers – Mia Flodquist and Laura Trevail
Lighting Designer – Steve Miller
Sound Designer – Theo Holloway
Operator and Stage Manager – Tomoko Matsumoto
Original Music (The Disappearance) – Jon Boden
Original Music (Normal) – Theo Holloway
Filmed Sequences – Darren Ormandy
Photography – Peter Davies
Press and Publicity – Sasha Regan for The Union Theatre
Produced by The Sticking Place and Natural Perspectives
Supported by CLOCK, SFX, SOUND ORBITAL
With thanks to Keith Strachan.
Photographs by Peter Davies
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