An MA study into horror in theatre. The play is set in an abandoned mental asylum.
An abandoned mental asylum in Mid-Wales.
A doctor with high ambitions and low morals.
Four patients plagued by fear.
A fear study.
A doctor and his assistant have set up a fear study, with the intention of using pioneering treatment methods and documenting the results to create a bestselling book. They have meticulously selected four individuals with phobias or irrational fears that have taken over their everyday lives, four individuals that would do anything to be cured.
Locked inside a small section of an abandoned mental astlum, the first phase of the study begins. Breaking down the subjects, and exposing their vulnerable sides to their greatest fears. It starts well, most are reacting well to their treatment, but then something changes. Incidents occur, ones that are outside of the doctors control, and suspicions aise about members of the trial, are they all as they seem?
Tensions build, and more incidents occur, bringing subjects closer to destruction, but the Dr refuses to call time on the study, ignoring the warning signs that the asylum may harbour something more sinister. The decisions he makes sets a chain reaction of events that will irrevocably change them all, there is no going back.
For my MA in performance I am focusing on the horror genre specific to theatre. What happens to horror when it is placed in the context of live theatre? Does it enhance the effect on the audience, or do the audience feel less connected to the story?Using researcch from scholars such as Freud and The Uncanny, and Rank and The Double, I will look into what makes us feel fear, and how as a society our fears have changed over the years. Classic Uncanny and Doubleattributes are often found in films, and films tend to be more effective when adopting some of these attributes, rather than the classic jump-scare tactics. Does the same apply for theatre? Can an audience feel true fear in the theatre, can they be exposed as spectators to the aesthetics of the theatre?
Using my research as a basis, I am writing a play called Haunted, where a fear study goes wrong when the subjects are faced with menacing entities of the asylum.
The play will be performed at Edge Hill University’s theatre space later this year, with the hope of opening up additional venues and performance dates.
I need to raise funds so that I can arrange rehearsal space, plus some set and costume, and a payment for the actors. I have cast half of the characters so far, and am looking to be able to advertise for the rest of the cast.
Please take a look at my website for the production, i will be posting updates as and when they occur 🙂