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The Haunting of Blaine Manor comes to Rosehill

Following on from its sell out tour last year, including a house attendance record breaking run at Buxton Festival, Joe O’Byrne’s award winning play The Haunting of Blaine Manor is currently on its 2019 theatre tour, taking in some of the most beautiful – and haunted – theatres in England.  The play comes to The Rosehill Theatre, Whitehaven on Friday the 18th of October.

The production is a period piece set in 1953 paying homage to the black and white ghost stories of the fifties and sixties including the characters therein – the likes of Vincent Price, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Peter Lorre etc and to M R James, England’s greatest greatest ghost story writer.  The production has already had many fantastic reviews, and won The Salford Star Best Play of 2017 Award, some quotes are on the press release attached and it is widely referred to as the new The Woman in Black or Agatha Christie meets The Haunting.

Renowned American parapsychologist Doctor Roy Earle, famous for discrediting hauntings and exposing fake mediums, is invited to attend a seance in what is said to be the most haunted building in England Blaine Manor. Even the locals won’t set foot there, as all who walk within those grounds will be cursed.

But his arrival at the manor has awoken something, horrific within the walls.

As a raging storm closes off Blaine Manor from the outside world, Earle and the others find that what is waiting there is not nearly as horrific as what has entered with him…

The play features an original chilling sound design and haunting title theme by Justin Wetherill, poster and trailer designs by Darren McGinn.

I’ve Always Wanted To Do A Haunted House Story…

Not just a ghost story though. I wanted it to be a period piece, something that would fit the world of M R James, Edgar Allan Poe or H P Lovecraft.At the same time tipping the hat to the Hammer Horror Classics that I watched in my youth, and how many of these classics tapped into England’s cultural history of haunted castles, demons and witchcraft?   Blaine Manor has something of the Borley Rectory about it.

In tandem with this I also wanted to create something that was a throwback to the Hollywood Golden Age, where glamour mixed with danger like bourbon poured over rocks, where you would see the likes of Claude Rains, Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Robert Mitchum, Lauren Bacall and Virginia Mayo strutting their stuff. I think they’d all feel at home in Blaine Manor.   There is fear here, yes, my original sound designer left due to having nightmares based around the production – true story! The play delivers, we already know that from its first sold out run.

So come join us at the fabulous Rosehill Theatre, Whitehaven.  It is 1953:

It was the year Columbia Pictures released the James Mason narrated animated classic The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe. 

Aldous Huxley tried the psychedelic hallucinogen, mescaline, inspiring his book The Doors of Perception.

Four million workers went on strike in France to protest against austerity measures.

Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay become the first men to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

Elvis Presley made his first ever recordings at Sun Records Memphis Recording Studios.

Renowned Parapsychologist Doctor Roy Earle entered Blaine Manor, reputedly the most haunted house in England. He was never seen again…

Horror is a place.

Joe O’Byrne

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