Fright Night: The Best Scary Plays For Halloween
Halloween is soon upon us - and you can get all kinds of chills and thrills at the theatre! Here, BroadwayWorld reviewers share some of their spooky favourites, and we recommend the best shows for good theatrical scares.
Charlie Wilks: "Ghost Stories, currently playing in the West End, is quite a shocker, giving you loads of frights that you don't expect. Even the slightest twitch from an audience member startles you. It's clever that the marketing uses the recordings of the audience being scared."
Cindy Marcolina: "Definitely Ghost Stories! It's layered yet terrifying."
Gary Naylor: "Retz's The Trial took you on a disorienting journey through the streets of Hoxton, into lock-ups used to imprison and beat suspects, shops that were fronts for illegal operations in which you were plausibly implicated, tiny interrogation rooms short of oxygen, and a medical facility used for unspeakable purposes. The whole experience was individualised, intensely lonely and packed with convincers. And very scary indeed."
The Woman in Black
Aliya Al-Hassan: "The Woman in Black remains the scariest night I've ever had at the theatre. It's been terrifying audiences for over 30 years now. With a simple story and a building dread, it relies on old-fashioned horror such as banging doors and unexpected blackouts. I think the Gothic darkness that creeps up on you in the play is very evocative, and there's something so eerie about the rocking chair scene - if you've seen it, you won't ever forget it!
Bat Out of Hell/Night of the Living Dead
Charlotte Downes: "The opening 'BANG' in Bat Out of Hell made me jump every time, and I nearly died of fright when a zombie landed in my lap during Night of the Living Dead. Getting sprayed with 'blood' was fun though."
Charlie: "In Variant 31, there are surprises around every corner. Zombies jump out at you - meaning you have to watch every step."
The House of Yes
Cindy: "I'd add The House of Yes at The Hope Theatre to this list - it's not scary per se, but it's definitely unsettling and eerie..."
More Halloween theatre
There are grand scares in The Phantom of the Opera (book here) and Wicked (book here), and sci-fi chills in Solaris at Lyric Hammersmith (book here), while Agatha Christie fans can solve murder mysteries and face off with evil in The Mousetrap (book here) or Witness for the Prosecution (book here).
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is at Southwark Playhouse (book here); Dave Malloy's musical riff on Edgar Allan Poe, Ghost Quartet, is at the Boulevard Theatre (book here); in Last Orders, the Old Red Lion investigates their own hauntings (book here); and there are gripping ghost stories in Sam Wanamaker Playhouse's Deep Night, Dark Night (book here).
For family outings, there are medium magical scares - don't forget those spine-chilling dementors - in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (book here), plus one of children's literatures most terrifying villains, Miss Trunchbull, in Matilda the Musical (book here).
Or for something a little different - and rather more adult! - try House of Kittens' immersive erotic show Amatory Asylum at the Wellington Members Club (book here).
Finally, check out the spook-tastic offerings at this year's London Horror Festival - full details here.
What are your scariest theatre shows or experiences? Let us know @BroadwayWorldUK