24 Oct 2013

The Greater Manchester Horror Fringe - well underway!

Hotel Midnight: Humpty's Bones.  Photo by Jez Smith
The Greater Manchester Horror Fringe is now well underway, with preview performances of Centurion and Count Magnus having taken place, and further performances scheduled for over the weekend and into next week.  The first Bloomin' Hell Ghost Tour at the King's Arms (book here) has also been held tonight and another is scheduled for tomorrow, Friday 25th October (two tours, at 8pm and 9.30pm).

Above is a scene from Centurion, Baz Greenland's science fiction ghost story which has been spectacularly realised by director Paul Anderton at Fab Cafe.  (L-R) Scytheplays regulars Tom Reed-Goodehall (Wine of India) and Adam Beresford (The Ballad of Halo Jones) are joined by Lily Shepherd (Scarlett Fever, There's Only One Man... United) as the small crew of the scout ship Venture, investigating the possibility of establishing a colony on a distant planet - a planet which may not be as lifeless as it seems... 

Rick (Tom Reed-Goodehall) alone aboard the Venture - or is he...?
After a successful preview on Tuesday, the play will be performing at Fab Cafe on Saturday 26th October (1pm), Sunday 27th (3.30pm and 7pm) and Monday 28th (7.30pm).  For door prices and direct booking links via WeGotTickets go to this blog entry.  The production design and lighting in the pictures above is by Peter M George, the photography by Andrew Greenland.

Howard Whittock.  Photo by Shay Rowan
Howard Whittock's one-man performance of MR James' classic ghost story Count Magnus also previewed to a delighted audience at Town Hall Tavern last night.  Further performances will take place on Friday 25th (6.30pm and 7.30pm), Saturday 26th (7.45pm and 8.45pm) and Thursday 31st (6.30pm and 8pm), and direct booking links via WeGotTickets can be found at this blog entry.

However, we unfortunately have to announce that the production The Hag, originally scheduled to run alongside Count Magnus at Town Hall Tavern, has been cancelled due to unforeseen difficulties. Customers who have pre-booked tickets will receive refunds.

Tracy Gabbitas, Laura Plows and Sean Croke in Humpty's Bones, part of Hotel Midnight.  Photo by Jez Smith
Meanwhile, terrifying horror anthology Hotel Midnight inches closer to its debut performance at the Lass O'Gowrie this coming Monday (28th October, running nightly at 7.30pm until Halloween).  Simon Clark, acclaimed author of the original short stories on which the play is based, visited rehearsals in Salford this week to meet several members of the cast and crew as they worked on the stories Swallowing a Dirty Seed, They Will Not Rest and Humpty's Bones.

Simon Clark discussing They Will Not Rest with actors Carmen Dooley and Taran Knight
Photo by Andrew Greenland
Additional cast and crew for Hotel Midnight can now be announced.  Joining director Sean Mason and actors Laura Plows, Tracy Gabbitas and Sean Croke in Humpty's Bones will be Terry Naylor, returning to Scytheplays for the first time since playing several roles in the original The Ballad of Halo Jones, having recently returned from a new tour of Eric Northey's acclaimed Telling Lives.  Meanwhile Swallowing a Dirty Seed and They Will Not Rest will be directed by fellow Halo Jones actor Richard (Benjamin) Patterson in his first production as director since last year's Harvey.  The cast includes Andrew Marsden, Solaya Sang, Amir Rahimzadeh (Lass Productions' Blade Runner), Taran Knight (Wine of India) and Carmen Dooley.  Welcoming you to the place of ill-repute that is Hotel Midnight will be Sean Mason as the Concierge.

Photo by Andrew Greenland
Pictured above are several of the Hotel Midnight team in terrified and terrifying mode: (L-R) Simon Clark, Tracy Gabbitas, Sean Mason, Laura Plows, Andrew Marsden, Taran Knight, Carmen Dooley, Baz Greenland (adapter of Swallowing a Dirty Seed), and co-director Richard Patterson.  After the rehearsal Simon Clark praised "those wonderful performances by the actors - and the terrific direction and adaptation by the writers," adding, "It really was an exhilarating experiences to see the stories come alive." We think it will be exhilarating for audiences too - so don't miss it!

Direct booking links via WeGotTickets for each of the performances of Hotel Midnight can be found here.