Features Published 27 October 2014

Things to Do in London When You’re Undead

A round-up of spooky shows in London this Halloween week.
Natasha Tripney

As October gallops into its final week, our stages start to seep and ooze. Dead things wake and the world turns red. If you’re looking for something appropriately spooky to do over weekend, here’s our pick of the most intriguing Halloween offerings.

The London Horror Festival reaches its final week at the Etcetera Theatre with Greywing House, a new play from Third Mind Productions, Peaceful by the Off-Off-Off-Broadway Company and the Twins Macabre, with their show Small Medium at Large.

Kneehigh’s Carl Grose journeys into the world of the Grand Guignol at Southwark Playhouse, Dickie Beau will be using old audio recordings to create an eerie array of ghost voices in Camera Lucida at the Barbican and David Ian Lee’s intense and bloody tale of Second World War cannibalism, The Curing Room, continues at the Pleasance.

French theatre-makers  Bob Theatre present their take on Nosferatu at the Unicorn Theatre, the Tooting Arts Club are performing Sweeney Todd in at Harrington’s in Tooting,  the oldest Pie and Mash in London apparently (and, yes, there will be pies), and playwright and occasional Exeunt contributor Duncan Gates will be presenting his short play Fetch as part of Halloween Tales just round the corner at the Selkirk pub.

The Prince Charles Cinema will be interspersing Sing-a-long-a-Rocky Horror with screenings of John Carpenter’s classic film Halloween and Backyard Cinema will be presenting a series of zombie-themed films – including 28 Days Later, Shaun Of The Dead and Zombieland – which promise an added immersive element alongside cocktails and ‘zombie burritos’ (which, in truth, sound slightly worrying) at a mystery location in Hackney.

On Halloween itself, The High Priestesses’ Silent Ball takes place in Camden (dress code: spooky), White Rabbit will be hosting a Halloween edition of their story-telling night Are You Sitting Comfortably? at Toynbee Hall (evil dolls are promised, as is cake), and Who Ya Gonna Call? a musical tribute to Ghostbusters (released 30 years ago this year; now that is fucking frightening) will be at The Albany, along with a screening of the movie itself.

There’s more spooky story-telling from Spark Stories,who will be presenting a Trick or Treat themed night at Exmouth Market Theatre on the 30th October, and the Day of the Dead Festival, which runs from the 31st Oct until the 2nd Nov features live music, DJs, Mexican food and an altar – at which people can leave offerings and photographs as is traditional in Mexico – at the Old Trueman Brewery, music and storytelling with the Crick Crack Club at Rich Mix and a silent disco at the Hill Street Community Café.

In the West End, Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman’s Ghost Stories continues its (not always successful) quest to make its audiences jump and squeal at the Arts Theatre, while the stage version of cult kids’ gameshow, Knightmare, enters its second level with a one-night only performance at the Lyric Theatre on the 3rd November (Simon, side step to your left, and so on).

Over at Battersea Arts Centre the horror is not explicit but they’ll be giving audiences another chance to be assaulted by Chris Brett Bailey’s blistering, brilliant This is How We Die, to be roared at and consumed as the world falls away. We can’t think of a better way to go.

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Natasha Tripney

Natasha co-founded Exeunt in 2011 and was editor until 2016. She's now lead critic and reviews editor for The Stage, and has written about theatre and the arts for the Guardian, Time Out, the Independent, Lonely Planet and Tortoise.

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