GrimFest is a fringe festival in London celebrating spooky, horror-themed theatre and it’s back just in time for Halloween! There really is something for all tastes this year, whether you are looking for one-man shows, spooky stand up, brand new writing, re-imagining of classics, interactive immersive theatre, or all out spine-chilling terror.
GrimFest 2023 takes place from 17th October to 4th November at the atmospheric Old Red Lion Theatre in Angel, Islington. And what better way to spend spooky season, than supporting fringe horror theatre – in an actual haunted pub?
Please do check out the full line-up of great performances, but to help you along, I have picked five shows that have caught my eye.
Tales From The Hellfire Club
Welcome to the Hellfire Club. A place to relax, sit back, and be chilled to the bone…
Join your host, Dr Bliss, as he introduces four desperately dark stories, written, directed and sometimes performed by its creators. Tales From the Hellfire Club is an anthology of short horror plays, each with their own tale to tell. Which one will keep you up at night…?
Why I like it: I love a good anthology, and Tales From The Hellfire Club packs together 4 chilling stories with a devilish host to entertain us. Sure, one of these stories is mine, but I promise I’m not just being biased! As a bonus, you get a free pre-performance glass of prosecco at the Halloween show and tickets for both performances include access to the Halloween & GrimFest after-show parties!
Performance Dates: 31st October & 4th November
I Heart Michael Ball
Produced by the award winning theatre company, Split Infinitive, I Heart Michael Ball is a one-hour one-man show exploring themes of grief and obsession through audience interaction. Bring your Michael Ball fan shirts, CDs and collectables, and get ready for a bloody good sing-song!
Why I like it: Something different here for your spooky season. An obsessive Michael Ball fan brings intensity and humour, while ramping up the creepiness to 11!
Performance dates: 24th & 25th October
Bad Cat Productions presents their debut horror stage production.
Bones Bones is a tense, thrilling modern gothic horror written by Rachel Daphne Oneale and directed by Rebecca Culverhouse that explores race, parenthood, the harsh truths we have to face, and the lengths a mother will go to protect her child.
Why I like it: I’m a big fan of gothic horror, and this piece deals with some serious and complex themes in a modern setting.
Performance dates: 1st, 2nd & 3rd November
A Scary Place To Exist
An interactive immersive show.
Two actors begin a strange play, which promises one of them the chance to give the best performance of their life. But it soon becomes clear they’re not in control. How will you decide their ends? Combining interactive theatre and horror, A Scary Place To Exist invites you into a world where the end is inevitable – but how you face it is not.
Why I like it: This experimental immersive theatre, where the audience actively make choices to determine how the show ends. You get to feel part of the show in this unique experience.
Performance dates: 18th & 19th October
A Giant Octopus, The Universe & Other Spooky Stuff
From the sea to the universe, an octopus and other daft scary stuff… we will go somewhere and it will be fun. Hell yeah, a lot of fun and (very) silly dancing, songs, creatures and an octopus… of course… a big one. We might go to space… why not? Prepare to be scared while laughing!
Why I like it: I had the pleasure of seeing Cheekykita perform some of the material at a Grimfest scratch night, and honestly it was something I will not forget! If you like a scare and you like a laugh, then this night of insanity is for you.
Performance dates: 27th October
We’ll survive if we all just stick together!
Whether you’re a horror super-fan, a seasoned industry professional or someone looking to dip their toes into creating their own project, we’d love to welcome you inside the Independent Horror Society! If you’re keen to join us, click here to see all of our membership options.