The Chilling Production
- Spooky, Poe-esque DARKTALES returns to the Fringe after 21 years with a revised script.
- DARKTALES is written by TIM ARTHUR, previous editor-in-chief of Time Out Magazine.
- This 21st anniversary production is directed by the twice-Olivier nominated DAN CLARKSON, most famous for being one half of the duo behind Potted Potter.
Horror-thriller Darktales is the scariest show at the Fringe! 21 years ago audience members gasped, screamed, fainted or had to leave the theatre. This chilling, creepy play explores the myths and the stories that scare us at night, and the two men who write them. The conversation becomes a sinister exchange, a dark rivalry – but the men are linked by more than their writing – there is a strong smell of sexual jealousy! And the mysterious Lucy looms over their stories. Confronting each other by demonstrating the power of each of their writing styles, slowly reveals a dark secret, leading to a terrifying conclusion.
I honestly don’t know. It sort of crept out of the dark recesses of my mind. I used to watch a lot of horror movies with my mum when I was a kid – which is a bit weird now I think about it. I guess I just like those psychological horror thrillers where you know something terrible is going to happen but you can’t stop it. I wanted to create something that looked like an old fashioned polite piece of storytelling but then becomes more and more unhinged and disturbing.
How did you go about gathering the team for it?
That was the producer’s job. The only thing I was really keen on was that everyone who got involved in the piece genuinely ‘got it’. It’s a genre piece and I wanted everyone involved to be fans of thrillers. I’ve been very lucky to have a incredibly inventive director and a dream cast along with a brilliant composer and lighting designer who can bring this creepy little piece to life.
How did you become interested in making performance?
My parents were in theatre so I fell in love with it from an early age. They also took me to see a lot of stuff when I was growing up in the late 70s and 80s and being exposed to a huge variety of theatre from Lindsay Kemp to Stephen Berkoff to Peter Brook made me want to create work.
Was your process typical of the way that you make a performance?
I don’t have a typical process. I haven’t written a play for ten years. The last pieces I wrote were devised with homeless people in the East End. This was extraordinary as well because it was a re-write of something I’d written 21 year earlier. What was meant to be a refresh turned into a complete re-write. I’ve never had the chance to go back to something. It was strange being a middle aged man working on the work of my younger self. Weird.
What do you hope that the audience will experience?
I hope they’ll enjoy the ride. It’s a fun piece. It’s not trying to be anything it’s not. It’s a penny dreadful for the 21st Century. A psychological horror thriller where nothing is as it seems. It should make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and make you laugh after you’ve just jumped. It should also keep you guessing.
What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?
I wanted to create something which combines storytelling and drama. Something which becomes as intimate as those ghost stories or friend of a friend stories you’d tell each other when you were kids that scared the crap out of you. But to do that we’re using everything that makes theatre unlike any other artform. We’re using sound, lighting, music and the feedback of a live audience.
Do you see your work within any particular tradition?
I’m just a writer who occasionally writes plays. My main aim is to create entertainments. Things that everyone will love and revel in.
TIM ARTHUR’s revised version of the script that terrified Fringe audiences updates the story for new audiences, but its haunting tales remain as chilling and as terrifying as before. Drawing inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe and H. P. Lovecraft you may think you know where Darktales is going, but it has scary surprises and twists up its sleeve.
Darktales is written by Tim Arthur, former editor-in-chief of Time Out Magazine and will be directed by the double Olivier Award nominee DAN CLARKSON, one half of the duo behind Potted Potter – an internationally-acclaimed, Harry Potter experience.
ANDREW PAUL, the familiar TV face most famous for his role as P.C. Dave Quinnan in The Bill will take on the role of Alex Crowley, the Professor.
Jack Langton, his ex-student, is played by SEAN WARD, who terrified the residents of Coronation Street as Callum Logan. Although Callum was brutally murdered in September 2015, he is currently haunting the residents of ‘The Street’, the Platt family to crisis as Sarah Platt has just given birth to his baby and believes he is alive!
CARRIE MARX plays the mysterious Lucy – the reason for Alex and Jack’s meeting. Carrie is an actress, singer and writer who has recently taken part in Secret Cinema productions to great acclaim.
3 – 29 August at 5:50pm