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  • Writer's pictureAdam Williams

"Shock Horror: The Must See Ghost Story" Coming This September

Following their critically acclaimed sell out tour in 2022, production company Thunder Road Theatre gets set to return to the stage later this year with Shock Horror: The Must-See Ghost Story. The multi-award-winning theatre company will be touring various theatres and art houses in England later this year with a brand new multimedia show that blends an old school ghost story with iconic horror cinema.

shock horror logo
“Obsessed with finishing his life’s work, a horror fanatic returns home to a haunted cinema. As his mind unravels, painful memories wake from the dead, but something else waits for him… something much worse.”

This “must-see” ghost story combines live performance, illusion, and film to create an “outstanding piece of theatre”, taking audiences on a terrifying journey into childhood nightmares and being afraid in the dark.


I was lucky enough to catch up with producer, cast member and Thunder Road co-creator Alex Moran to talk through the upcoming production.

 

Can you tell me a bit about Thunder Road and how you co-started the company.


"I started the company in 2010 with £50 from my Nan! Our first production was an adaptation of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and my Dad built the set - a rickety old door and two Ikea storage boxes for set. Very different to what we have now. It was picked up by Harrogate Theatre and that’s how we began. For several years we adapted classic novels in a dark and contemporary way, but our intention was always to move into horror and new writing. Shock Horror was the show I wanted to create ever since we started."


What classic novels have you had the chance to adapt, and what would you still like to do?


"We’ve adapted five novels: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Count of Monte Cristo, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, The Invisible Man and The Body Snatcher. The companies move to original horror means that our adapting days are on pause for a while. But I’d love to explore a more contemporary horror novel in the future, potentially one of Susan Hill’s."

alex moran

Actor and Thunder Road co-creator Alex Moran.


Thunder Road Theatre has always seemingly had one foot within the horror genre. Can you tell me more about previous horror works you’ve tackled?


"All our projects have been dark, twisted tales but our first real ‘horror’ was The Body Snatcher. We reimagined Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella into the modern day. Our wonderful playwright Ian Townsend set it during a global pandemic, and we performed it months before THE pandemic. Scary."


So, how did Shock horror come to be?


"I was fortunate to receive an Arts Council development grant during lockdown to develop horror theatre, and Shock Horror was born out of this. I have been fascinated with horror theatre since childhood, and when I teamed up with Ryan Simons (writer), his penchant for horror cinema helped us blend the two together to create this strangely unique, thrill-ride of a show."


Being fascinated with horror theatre and film, what would you say have been your influences when approaching this production?


"The Woman In Black for the staging, Stranger Things for the screen action, and Ryan’s unyielding passion for 80s horror films The Shining, Poltergeist and Nightmare On Elm Street for the story. The Woman In Black is my greatest influence of all; a show I saw when I was 14 years old, and (after watching it fourteen times) have loved ever since.


t’s a lesson in controlled horror and how incredible it can be when it connects with the audience’s imagination. This is what Shock Horror is aiming for, it’s a love letter to every thrill-seeking audience member out there."

shock horror live

A must-see ghost story!


What can you tell me about this production, and how it differentiates from what you’ve previously done?


"It’s a theatre and film hybrid set in a haunted cinema, where the live action combines with feature film multimedia. It’s the story of Herbert, a young man who grew up in a cinema that screened only horror. He is still haunted by terrifying events from his childhood – a deranged mother, a self-obsessed father, a fanatical priest, and a darkness within the walls. It’s horror on stage and horror on film, terrifying from all angles! The first Thunder Road play that hasn’t been inspired or adapted from previous source material, and yet it’s the most beautiful, heart-stopping story I think we’ve ever created.


The production also boasts an incredible creative team including Olivier award winning illusionist John Bulleid and Emmy nominated composer Ben Parsons. The production value and investment are incredibly high. We want to give audiences more bang for their buck than any other horror show has before."


Sounds like it could be complicated. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced bringing this piece to life?


"The filming was full on. The team worked long into the night to create the visuals we needed to bring the horror scenes to life. I will always be incredibly thankful to the amazing creative team who worked on the filming and delivered when it was needed. "


Lastly, what would you say is your favourite horror film and why?


"Get Out. Jordan Peele’s masterpiece with one of the best twists I’ve ever seen in horror film. I love how horror allows audiences to confront their fears and think for themselves. Shock Horror is a terrifying example of this too."


 

Sounds like this will be one to mark in your calendar horror fans! Shock Horror: The Must-See Ghost Story begins its tour in the Churchill Theatre, Bromley September 27th and finishes in the Lyceum Theatre, Crewe November 18th.


You can find out more information, and how to book tickets visit their website, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram pages.

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