Christmas Gothic

Dyad Productions tell us more about their chilling production Christmas Gothic

| Mon 31 Oct 2016

This Halloween we caught up with Dyad Productions to find out more about their chilling production Christmas Gothic, including where this ghostly Victorian Christmas tradition came from and what to expect from the show.

Can you tell us a bit about Dyad Productions and the work you create?

Dyad has been creating and touring work around the UK and internationally for the last 8 years. We are really interested in exploring the possibilities of the solo show and breaking the fourth wall; trying to offer shows with really high production values (great set/lighting design, soundscape/bespoke costumes etc) - for the smaller scale touring network. We try to create one new piece of work per year, and literature and history are two of our passions. Many of our shows have their roots there!

What can we expect from the show? 

Three Victorian festive tales of the macabre all filtered through the dark haunted woman who tells them. They offer a real window into that Victorian tradition of telling and listening to ghost stories - and having your imagination ignited by them. The show is lots of fun (and genuinely chilling in a few places!) - and we are working with the same wonderful lighting and sound designers that we worked on with Dalloway, and the same costume designer too!

Can you tell us more about the Victorian Christmas tradition that has inspired this performance?  

The Victorians saw Christmas Eve as the perfect time to sit round the fire and tell dark tales. Perhaps something to do with the shortest days of the year and the fact that following Christmas, the worst of the winter was over and the renewal of spring was coming. They really saw them as very Christmassy! The most famous Christmas story of them all - A Christmas Carol is in fact a ghost story! And M R James’s tales were all written for him to tell his students at Cambridge round the fire, just before Christmas.

Apart from the stories you’ll be sharing in Christmas Gothic, have you discovered any other Gothic tales you’d recommend this Halloween?

Oh so many! Before I wrote Christmas Gothic - I’d actually written another Gothic show - Female Gothic - which was about trying to bring back all the fabulous Female Victorian ghost story writers back into the public eye. I can definitely recommend E Nesbit’s The Power of Darkness - an astonishing anthology of her darkest tales. We may think of her now as a children’s writer - but to her contemporaries, she was the doyenne of dark fiction!

Has anything spooky ever happened to you whilst visiting a theatre?

Not spooky as such - but I can definitely say that whenever I go into really old Georgian or Victorian Theatres for the first time - you can really feel all the energies of the people and shows that have been there before. Old theatres are really magical places, full of so many stories we’ll never know!

It turns out ghost stories aren't just for Halloween, get your spook on this Christmas and catch alternative festive treat Christmas Gothic here Thursday 8 December.

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