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Liverpool Playhouse to Present THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE

This Christmas at the Playhouse, following the international and West End success of Ghost Stories, the horror genre makes a return with The Haunting of Hill House. The production is a collaboration with Sonia Friedman Productions and HAMMER to create the first major UK stage adaptation of Shirley Jackson's novel, which became the legendary horror movie The Haunting in 1963. The production will play at the Williamson Square venue from Monday 7 December to Saturday 16 January.

No-one ever visits Hill House, especially not after dark. When three strangers are invited to join the mysterious Dr Montague at the eerie house on the hill, not even their darkest dreams could have prepared them for what awaits. As their stay unfolds, they are plagued by a series of inexplicable events that propel them to the very edge of their existence.

This stage version of The Haunting of Hill House is adapted by Anthony Neilson. A creator of pioneering, taboo-breaking new work, Anthony writes and directs bold plays that explore unchartered psychological territories. His previous theatre credits include The Wonderful World of Dissocia, National Theatre Scotland; Realism, Edinburgh International Festival; Narrative, Royal Court Theatre and The Censor, Finborough Theatre. He wrote and directed the feature film The Debt Collector for Film4 and for the stage he has directed Caledonia, Edinburgh Festival and Marat/Sade, RSC.

The production is directed by Olivier and Tony Award nominee Melly Still. Melly has worked as a director, choreographer, designer and adaptor for many companies such as the National Theatre, Glyndebourne Festival Opera and the RSC. Her theatre includes as director and co-designer include From Morning To Midnight and The Revenger's Tragedy (both National Theatre) and Coram Boy (National Theatre and Broadway); Rats' Tales, Manchester Royal Exchange (also adaptor); Rusalka and The Cunning Vixen, Glyndebourne Opera. For Coram Boy Melly received Tony Award nominations for Best Director, Best Set Design, Best Costume Design and Olivier Award nominations for Best Director and Best Design.

Speaking about The Haunting of Hill House, Melly said: "It's a ghost story cloaked in horror and like all horror stories it plays on our fears but not with a safe-in-your-seat thrill: the writing leads us to experience the play from within the main character's consciousness and we're probably closer to its fragility and unreliability than we'd like to think. The effect is both unsettling and gripping."

Shirley Jackson established herself as one of America's leading horror authors of the 20th Century thanks to a writing style of cryptic symbolism in the Gothic mold in which abnormal behaviour seemed perilously ordinary. As well as The Haunting of Hill House, her notable works include The Hangsaman and The Lottery. Such is the standing of The Haunting of Hill House in the horror cannon that Stephen King, in his book Danse Macabre, calls the novel "one of the finest books ever to come out of the genre".

An alternative theatre experience over the festive period, the 150-year-old Playhouse is the perfect setting for this terrifying psychological thriller.

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