Theatre of the Damned Blog

News, reviews and information on all things horror.
For more information on Theatre of the Damned and the London Grand Guignol, visit

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Blogging the London Horror Festival

We're scared. Properly quite scared.

Edit: apparently some of you got the impression from the below that there was actually some catastrophic problem of some kind that we didn't know how to deal with. Um, no. If there was, I'd be fixing it, not writing light-hearted blog posts about it. There's loads still to do - enough that the prospect provides the faint adrenaline boost of controlled nerves, but we have a great team working on this and we know how it's going to get done. Calm down, dear.

Exactly one month from tomorrow, the London Horror Festival will open. That is a slightly terrifying prospect – and not just in the way it should be. Between now and then, we have to make sure that ten other companies’ shows can slot into the Courtyard smoothly, organise a film screening and a rock concert, and make sure that our own show – Revenge of the Grand Guignol – is as spine-tinglingly, gut-wrenchingly awesome as it can possibly be.

There are scripts to polish up, a box set to build, complicated effects to prepare, and the real heart of the production - countless hours of rehearsal time, which I'm just itching to get on to. We have to go out to Kent and dig a hole in a field, and we have to turn my room into a place that looks like a girl might conceivably live in it. Last night, I had to listen to the Archers for the first time in my life, so that I could do an impression of someone called Kenton, while legend, Archers-enthusiast and part-time Monster Hunter Matt Woodcock voiced his brother David and human swiss army knife Liam Welton tried to work out how to make a kitchen/living room in Peckham sound like a BBC recording studio posing as Home Farm. And I doubt that's even the silliest thing I'll do this week.

Between now and opening night, Stewart and I will be posting here every day, and we’ll be hosting guest posts from other people taking part in the Festival from time to time too. Tomorrow, I’ll be talking about translating horror theatre. On Monday, Stew will be posting an article about the amazing work of legendary Troma director Lloyd Kaufman and its significance for us and for the emerging horror theatre scene. Lloyd is presenting a special screening of Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead as part of the Festival on Tuesday 1st November, and I really can’t tell you how excited we are about meeting one of our all-time heroes.

So, if you want to read about what it’s like to produce a month-long independent theatre festival, or stage a Grand Guignol show on the London Fringe, or just for some strange reason happen to be interested in hearing the two of us blather on about horror and Grand Guignol, keep checking back here. And we want to know what you think too, so post, damnit, post!

- Tom Richards


  1. Can't wait to see Lloyd Kaufman in person and POULTRYGEIST!! He is my fravorite film director!

  2. He is and Troma are truly awesome. Obviously I'm really looking forward to meeting the man, but I've actually never seen Poultrygeist, so I'm also very excited just about watching it for the first time - it looks amazing.