The UK’s largest festival of horror is back! Running from October 15th to November 4th, The London Horror Festival will be scaring and entertaining audiences at the Old Red Lion Theatre.
This year’s festival is sponsored by Hobgoblin and Jessica F. Holt, whose ‘gothicly gorgeous & grotesque art’ is hovering the festival, making its visual even more eerie.
Bringing out the horrific in the performing arts, this year’s LHF will offer theatre, puppetry, cabaret, spoken word, body horror, clowning and comedy, satanic cults, mummies, zombies, ghosts, vampires… everything we adore in a stellar 23 shows!
Apart from the shows themselves, the festival continues to support writers and, with submissions now closed, the Playwriting Competition has received an overwhelming response and a great number of works.
The winner will be announced during the first week of October and the play will be performed on the opening night at 7pm, directed by the Old Red Lion’s Artistic Director, Clive Judd. Although the winner is still unknown, we can rest assured that it will be a brilliant event, not falling short from the festival’s reputation.
Amongst its 23 shows that support all tastes and all kinds of horror, the LHF will have a special MIDNIGHT showing of Felix Le Freak’s ShockBuster Video – created especially for the festival – and a double-bill of the triple award-winning sketch comedian, James Hamilton, who will present ‘James Hamilton is so Lonely’ and ‘James Hamilton is so Pregnant’.
The complete list of shows can be found here, but in order to try and help you decide on what to watch, here’s a list of our top picks:
What’s the Bloody Question?
As horror fans, we love being terrified, whether it’s from a film, a book, a play, a bedtime story, it doesn’t matter… but what is also brilliant is to other people rejoice in their passion for horror too! And what better way to do that than to watch two teams of 3 horror fanatics go against each other in an off-the-wall, and deliciously kitsch competition?
Personally, I cannot see a better way to start my dive into the horror-filled weeks that will follow. The 2 teams, formed by our very own London Horror Society and of course, the London Horror Festival, will team up with LHF alumni to decide which of these mere mortals bear a deeper knowledge in horror. And we are invited to watch – on Sunday, 15th October!
From the award-winning Okai Collier Company / Evcol Entertainment comes a production that explores Edgar Allan Poe’s poem The Raven through a feminine perspective.
This adaptation focuses on Lady Elizabeth Woodruff’s struggles as it embraces her journey with grief and her melancholic thoughts after the death of her estranged husband – a death which causes her to question her relationship that later translate into uncertainties about herself.
Audiences will have two opportunities to watch the show: Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th October 2017 at 9:30pm.
Felix Le Freak’s Shockbuster Video
Felix Le Freak, the clerk of ShockBuster Video and one of cabaret’s rising stars, will walk us through the horror aisle of the video store (remember those?) and will revisit iconic horror through classic clips mixed with performance and unexpected narrative.
If you are interested in trivia, the juiciest gore and much more, this show is for you! I cannot express enough reasons to watch this one: if not for the nostalgic trip to the video store, then for the classic horror clips! The performance and the narrative given by Felix are just the cherries on top of the cake (which I will happily indulge in).
You will have three opportunities to watch Felix’s performance, including a midnight show! Friday 20th October 2017 at 12:00pm and 9:30pm, and Friday 27th October 2017 at 9:30pm.
Stories from the minds of Stephen King, Edgar Allan Poe and Lovecraft are undoubtedly scary, but there’s something terrifying about the simplicity of storytelling and that is what Blackshaw offers this year.
Blackshaw’s third annual Scare Slam promises to add the ‘fear factor to increasingly popular spoken word nights’. So, if you were ever a child who went camping or sleeping over at your friends and begged for someone to tell a horror story so everyone could feel the same sense of dread, then this one is for you!
Sit back and relax with your fellow horror fanatics and let yourself be scared by the power of the spoken word.
Only one chance to catch this one, so book your tickets because they are going fast! Monday 23rd October 2017 at 7pm.
What is worse – to have your fears and traumas confronted or to actually know what they are? I choose neither (ignorance is a bliss) but for my last (but not least) pick of this list, I will choose to cure them.
Red Cape Black Cape Theatre’s The Stomaching is set in 1969, at St. Oswald’s Clinic, and it follows a series of human trials for a new drug that promises to cure patients of their deepest traumas and fears. But of course, there are secrets behind this seemingly perfect medicine and The Stomaching explores what is unmasked by the new drug.
Unmask your own hidden fears on Friday the 3rd or Saturday 4th November 2017 at 7pm.