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EF Benson's The Outcast
A night of supernatural chills for Halloween by a master of horror.
NeuNoir theatre company return for an intimate reading of two chilling 'spook stories' by horror writer E.F. Benson.
After her younger fortune-hunting husband commits suicide, a 40-something widow relocates to a small country town in The Outcast. She's charming, witty, sociable, well-dressed, beautiful, and seemingly the perfect companion. Yet those in her vicinity often find her eerily and inexplicably detestable - though none can explain why. Could it be that her new home is, as rumoured, haunted? Or is something else at play?
Complementing The Outcast, the night also includes a reading of the macabre The Thing In The Hall, in which a spirit has been tempted into this world after a seance - but what kind of elemental spirit, no-one is certain.
A prolific writer, Edward Frederic Benson (1867-1940) was the son of Birmingham-born Edward White Benson (later the Archbishop of Canterbury). Best known for his popular Dodo and Mapp And Lucia series, E.F. also authored numerous biographies, as well as many short stories. Among these shorts were dozens of what he referred to as "spook stories" - frightening and creepy yarns that delve into the dark corners of haunted houses, and reveal weird horrific creatures and happenings, often in unexpected everyday places. A master of the horror genre, E.F’s work has been championed by everyone from American writer H.P. Lovecraft, to actor/writer (and horror buff) Mark Gatiss.
First collected in 1923's Visible And Invisible anthology, The Outcast demonstrates perfectly Benson's skill at introducing the strange into the everyday, while The Thing In The Hall (as featured in 1912's The Room In The Tower And Other Stories) warns of the dangers of dabbling in the unknown.
Having gripped audiences with Carnacki - The Ghost Finder last Halloween, actor Richard Usher (Sweet Cherry Publishing’s Sherlock Holmes audiobooks; BBC Radio; The Lost Hancocks: Vacant Lot) returns to ensure attendees are suitably spooked ... again.
In the words of E.F. Benson: "Fear is the most absorbing and luxurious of emotions. One forgets all else if one is afraid."
STOURBRIDGE TOWN HALL (Wollaston Studio)
Friday 28 October 2022 - 7.30pm
All tickets £10
*Booking fees apply
Age Guidance: Suitable for ages 14+
Running Time: Approx. 1hr (no interval)
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Stourbridge Town Hall
CALL: 01384 812812
Opening Hours: Weekdays, 8:30am - 5pm.
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