Scare Slam 2021

DownStairs, The Pleasance Theatre

6.30pm, 24th October 2021

Listen to the live recording, now!

Compere: Ellie Pitkin

The Woman on the Ceiling by Julie Barnett 

666 PROBLEMS by Sarah Tejal Hamilton

Feed the World, written by Rhiannon Owens, performed by Natalie Winter 

Gone by Sasha Ravencroft 

An Unusual Undertaking by Andrew James Brown 

Mr Tumnus by Sam Greenwood 

Readings from ‘Strewwelpeter’ by Heinrich Hoffmann, performed by Ellie Pitkin

Photos by Richard Stratton

Scare Slam 2021 – Show Programme

Writers & Performers

The Woman on the Ceiling by Julie Barnett

Julie Barnett is a writer from Swansea. She has an obsession with drinking tea, eating cake and anything ghostly. She has successfully managed to freak herself out while writing this piece and will most definitely be sleeping with the light on and one eye open from now on.

666 PROBLEMS by Sarah Tejal Hamilton

Sarah Tejal Hamilton is a playwright and narrative artist. A former winner of the London Horror Festival playwriting competition, her poem tonight, 666 Problems is inspired by all the great gothic poets: Shelley, Keats, Rossetti, Donne, and Jay-Z.

Feed the World, written by Rhiannon Owens, performed by Natalie Winter

Rhiannon is a writer for stage and audio. This is her second foray into the horror genre having previously had a digital performance of her work as part of Uncanny Collective’s online horror festival. It’s not a genre that comes easily as she’s a bit of a wimp who finds everything a little bit terrifying. Her writing can also be seen as part of Jam Tart/Lemon Kurd a double bill of monologues showing at the Hope Theatre from 26th October.

The performer, Natalie Winter, is an actor, voice over artist, and director. She produces and directs the Ragged Scratch Podcast, a new writing podcast for short audio plays, and is a regular player on Blackshaw Theatre’s sister podcast, Merely Roleplayers.

Gone by Sasha Ravencroft

Sasha Ravencroft is going to be reading a piece of prose they wrote recently called ‘Gone’ which looks at how hard it can be to let go of something or someone and move on. Sasha’s company, Rude Raven Productions are at the London Horror Festival for the first time – their play ‘A Simple Tale of Love’ is performing here at The Pleasance Theatre on the 29th October.

An Unusual Undertaking by Andrew James Brown

Andrew James Brown is a poet, storyteller and National Treasure. His work has been seen in the flesh across the UK and in international waters, and can be seen in embalmed form in his criminally underated collection Entrees, get it now before Penguin Classics do.

Mr Tumnus by Sam Greenwood

Mr Tumnus is about a child I do not have, in a house I do not own. In this way I hope it will be very relatable to a London audience.

Crew & Creatives

Ellie Pitkin – Compere & Producer

Andrew Crane – Sound Design and Technician

Violaine Brunelin – Marketing Manager

Alexander Pankhurst – Press & Marketing

Special thanks to: Katy Danbury, Matt Boothman, Richard Stratton, Helen Stratton, Vikki Weston.

About Blackshaw

Founded in 2010, our productions include new works; Trouble at Sea: A Miss McSkimming Mystery by Richard Stratton (2021 – The Big Top, Wandsworth)l The Final Adventure of Frankie Fightwell by Chris Buxey (2018 – Putney Arts Theatre); Some Treachery: A Miss McSkimming Mystery by Richard Stratton (2017 – Putney Arts Theatre); Black Shuck by Duncan Hands (2016 – Old Red Lion Theatre), Staying Alive by Kat Roberts (2015 – Pleasance Theatre), Fetch by Duncan Gates (2014 – Selkirk Upstairs); Audience with the Ghost Finder by M. J. Starling (2013 – Selkirk Upstairs & Etcetera Theatre), and Character by Florence Vincent (2014 & 2015 – Selkirk Upstairs & Tristan Bates Theatre); as well as adaptations of Gormenghast: Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake (2012 – The Actors’ Church, Covent Garden) and Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (2014 & 2015 – Selkirk Upstairs, Battersea Library & The British Home).

Our podcast, ‘The Blackshaw Arts Hour’ includes the latest arts news and reviews, as well as one-off radio dramas, serials, and live performances.

Sign up to our mailing list to be sure to hear all about shows, casting opportunities, events, and more.

Find out more on our website.

About Merely Roleplayers

In Blackshaw’s sister podcast, we improvise heists, spy missions, monster hunts and many more stories, with one thing in common: we’re always chasing maximum drama. Dice rolls add an element of chance, so no one knows which way the story will go – not even us! Visit our website to follow the show, and choose Act 1 of any production to jump in and join the fun.

TONIGHT! You can see Merely Roleplayers’ debut live show, Lights Out at 8.30pm at the Pleasance. Book tickets on the Pleasance website, or risk a purchase on the door.

No one knows what happened to the Blackout Four – only that none survived.

Merely Roleplayers hope to solve this mystery live.

Part seance, part campfire tale, part roleplaying game, Lights Out sees four brave players place themselves in the shoes of the Blackout Four, and fight against fate to seize a glimmer of hope – before all the lights go out.

With thanks to the London Horror Festival, The Pleasance, and the Festival Sponsors.

Looking back at…The Scare Slam & Halloween Tales

Halloween Tales, 30th October – 1st November 2014, The Selkirk Upstairs

‘You think it’s all me and it’s not. It’s not always me.’

It starts as a normal night-shift – and then you start to see double…

Duncan Gates’ chilling short play, Fetch, alongside some spooky fireside stories, formed our first foray into scary short stories. Halloween Tales was almost certainly the spooky seed from which did grow the horror-bloom: Blackshaw’s Annual Scare Slam.

The Whistling Room by William Hope Hodgson, read by M. J. Starling

Wailing Well by M. R. James, read by Duncan Gates

Fetch by Duncan Gates

There’s a bunch of lovely photos, interviews, and behind the scenes joy available to browse.


ROSIE MARSH Ally (Fetch)
M. J. STARLING Storyteller
DUNCAN GATES Storyteller


ELLIE PITKIN Director & Producer
MICHELLE BRISTOW Set & Costume Designer
ANDREW CRANE Sound Design/Tech Operation

The Scare Slam, annually, October 2014-present

From the mind of Blackshaw associate, Helen Stratton, the Scare Slams were born. Over the years (we’ve done 5) the Scare Slam has been performed at The Horse & Stables, The Old Red Lion, and The Pleasance Theatre, as part of the London Horror Festival.

The show has provided a platform for the telling of terrifying short stories and poems. All in the dead of night. To the gentle hiss of a geriatric smoke machine…

Scare Slam 2015

Scare Slam 2016

Scare Slam 2017

Scare Slam 2018

Scare Slam 2019

You can drip some fear into your ear, and listen to the audio of the Scare Slams, whenever you like.

Looking back at…New Writing Nights & The Showcase Awards

On January 6th 2011, Blackshaw presented its first New Writing Night at The Horse & Stables (Lambeth North). There began a decade-long love story between Blackshaw and new writing. We hosted over 30 events, first at The Horse, and then at the Hen & Chickens (Islington). The New Writing Nights brought together writers, actors, and directors to try out their work and get constructive feedback from the audience.

In 2014, we began the annual Blackshaw Showcase Award – winners were supported by Blackshaw through the development process of their play, to get the script performance-ready and then staged as a one-off industry performance.

2014 Winner: Staying Alive by Kat Roberts

2015: Call It Even by Naila Vázquez Tantinyà

2016: Cailleach Óg by Gerald Moynihan

2017: Moth Man by Nicole Locke

There are loads of brilliant photos, reviews, interviews and info on the New Writing Nights and Showcase Awards to look at.

Scare Slam 2019

Our fifth annual Scare Slam was spooktacular!

Here are the photos, lineup and live recording of the show, in podcast form.

Compere: Ellie Pitkin

The Sad Kid in the Corridor by Duncan Gates

Bed for Sale, Excellent Condition written by Nikky O’Hare, performed by Natalie Winter

The Bistro by Andrew James Brown

Her by George Morris

The Dog Who Saw Ghosts by Eleanor Verner

Twinkle Twinkle by Reece Connolly

The Summer of 66 by Mike Levanzin

Photos by Richard Stratton

Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 93

Some performances from the live and spooktastic Scare Slam, as recorded at the Old Red Lion Theatre on Friday 12th October 2018, for the London Horror Festival.

Nightsweats, written and performed by Sasha Wilson

Lay Me Down by Morgan Noll, presented by Somna Theatre Company, performed by Robbie Heath

Warm and Chewy by Ollie George Clark, performed by Dene Horgan

Banshee Bungle by Vivian C Lermond, performed by Victoria Howell

Mrs Miller, written and performed by Reece Connolly


Scare Slam 2018 – Photos

Photos by Richard Stratton –

I – The Intruders, written and performed by Jason D. Brawn

II – Warm and Chewy, written by Ollie George Clark, performed by Dene Horgan

III – The Beast, written and performed by Scott Younger

IV- Nightsweats, written and performed by Sasha Wilson

V – Lay Me Down, written by Morgan Noll, presented by Somna Theatre Company, performed by Robbie Heath

VI – An Evening, written by Patrick Chivers, performed by Peter Frost

VII – Banshee Bungle, written by Vivian C Lermond, performed by Victoria Howell

VIII – Mrs Miller, written and performed by Reece Connolly

VIIII – Ellie Pitkin, Compere

Scare Slam 2018 Lineup Announced

The spooktacular Scare Slam is upon us and we’ve got chills…the terrifying line up is as follows:

Mrs Miller by Reece Connolly

At school, I’m the only kid who’s afraid of Mrs Miller. And I think that’s because – in all honesty – I’m the only kid who can see her…’ A haunted classroom, a sadistic ghost, and one terrified school kid. This is the story of little Rory and his least favourite teacher. Told in rhyme.

My primary school was a Victorian-build that looked a lot like the Amityville house and backed out onto a derelict graveyard. I feel a lot of that probably made its way into this piece of scholastic terror. I’m a writer and performer originally from the North East, now based in East London. I’ve written and directed HUBERT IS VERY DEAD which is playing at the London Horror Festival on Oct 23rd + 24th, and my original play CHUTNEY [about a couple who decide to spice up their relationship by murdering their neighbours’ pets] is running at The Bunker Theatre throughout November.


An Evening by Patrick Chivers

Performed by Peter Frost

A man pays a visit a friend, absent on the night of their bi-weekly textiles class. The savage plot he uncovers is both haunting and tragic.

This story is a Poe-lite fable written by Patrick Chivers – soon to be seen presiding over ‘Midnight Horror’ on 26 & 27th October (the only midnight production and cheapest ticket of the festival!!) He writes: ‘For those with a taste for pre-textual explanations, I’m afraid you’ve come to the wrong wordsmith. Like the shocked face of an unidentified corpse, this dumb tale must be left to speak for itself.’


Banshee Bungle by Vivian C Lermond

Performed by Victoria Howell

On the Eve of All Hallows, 2 Celtic Creatures on their way to “a job” miss the opportunity and one lucky man is spared to live another day.

BANSHEE BUNGLE is a monologue in the style of the old storytelling tradition. Vivian is an award-winning playwright whose one-acts and monologues have entertained audiences in the US, Mexico and the UK.


The Intruders by Jason D. Brawn

A couple get a rude awakening during their sleep, in a cottage in the middle of the nowhere. What if witch-hunting still existed today in rustic England?

Jason D. Brawn is a rabid fan of the horror genre, and a writer of dark fiction, which includes a plethora of published short stories and prose poetry, as well as a few produced radio plays and comic book scripts. His short screenplay Portrait was made as a successful short film, and he holds a BA in Film and Media from Birkbeck, University of London.


The Beast by Scott Younger

An 18th century merchant tells of his enslavement in Africa, and the terrifying cargo he escaped with.

This piece is taken from a longer play about The Beast of Gevaudan, a true story of a wolf-like creature that terrorised France in the 18th century.


Lay Me Down by Morgan Noll, presented by Somna Theatre Company

Performed by Robbie Heath

“Lay Me Down” is a short horror tale in the form of a spoken monologue, relying on the imaginative power of children to generate a grim story of religious fear and parental anxieties. “The Monsters are Due on Maple Street” meets “The Babadook” .

New kids on the block, Somna Theatre Company, have produced Lay Me Down as a thematic appetiser for their debut show as a company, Who Put Bella in the Wych Elm? A one man show focused on parental fears, alienation and child paranoia. If you like what you hear tonight, then be sure to attend their London Horror Festival premiere October 15th at 9:30pm at the Old Red Lion Theatre.


Warm and Chewy by Ollie George Clark

Performed by Dene Horgan

Warm and Chewy is the story of Gerty, the parasite of a small community and how, when the rain stops and food becomes scares, the community turn to feed on him and discover just how warm and chewy he is.

This is the story of Gerty, the over grown globby parasite of a small town, becoming the Warm and Chewy centre of the community. Written by BAFTA Rocliffe Writer Ollie George Clark, his writing credits include Coconuts at the Lyric Hammersmith Evolution Festival, Those we Exile at the Almeida and in the beginning… at the Bloomsbury Festival.


Nightsweats by Sasha Wilson

It is about a woman who finds herself alone and awake in the middle of the night in the Prairie during the period of Westward expansion. It’s about hallucination and a haunting and a man that comes running from the woods toward her house.


Sasha Wilson has been described as a “trifle morbid.” She is the author of Bury The Hatchet a true crime podcast meets live bluegrass musical about the infamous American axe-murderess Lizzie Borden. She likes history and things that go bump in the night. This evening is no exception. This evening, ladies and gentlemen, she presents “Night Sweats” a tale of terror and loneliness in the Wild West.


Get your tickets now!

Scare Slam 2018 – Applications Now Open!

Got a scary story to tell? We’d love to hear it.


• – 5 mins max per piece
• – Notes can be used
• – These are solo readings of scary stories or anecdotes
• – You can only submit your own writing
• – We encourage writers to read their own work (but writers can work with an actor if they prefer)
• – No tech – we will provide the spooky atmosphere…

Download a submission form and submit by midnight on Fri 28th September.

Got questions? Just email

A night of chilling storytelling
Produced by Blackshaw Theatre Company

Lovers of scary stories, unite. Adding the fear factor to increasingly popular spoken word nights, storytellers from across the Horrorfest and beyond will share their worst (or should that be best?) nightmares at Blackshaw’s third annual Scare Slam.

Prepare yourself for a night of chilling tales from both sides of the line of veracity.

Come on down for a scare, or, if you’d like to contribute a story, see below for info.

Listen to previous Scare Slams here:

“ranging from peculiar to haunting, with some humour thrown in for good measure” – The Spy in the Stalls

“enjoyable, scary and memorable” – London Pub Theatres

“I was totally engrossed by it. A winning horror story that I wanted to end… for all the right reasons!” – Scare Tour UK



**ANNOUNCEMENT** – Scare Slam 2018


The Scare Slam is back for its 4th consecutive year.  We’ll be haunting the Old Red Lion Theatre as part of the London Horror Festival, Friday 12th October, 9.30pm.

Tickets will be on sale, and applications opened, sooOoOoOn *ghost arms*!

Check out past Scare Slams (pics, reviews, recordings) here.

Blackshaw’s Scare Slam – at the London Horror Festival

A night of chilling storytelling, produced by Blackshaw Theatre Company

Lovers of scary stories, unite. Adding the fear factor to increasingly popular spoken word nights, storytellers from across the Horrorfest and beyond will share their worst (or should that be best?) nightmares at Blackshaw’s fourth annual Scare Slam.

Prepare yourself for a night of chilling tales from both sides of the line of veracity.

“ranging from peculiar to haunting, with some humour thrown in for good measure” – The Spy in the Stalls

“enjoyable, scary and memorable” – London Pub Theatres

“I was totally engrossed by it. A winning horror story that I wanted to end… for all the right reasons!” – Scare Tour UK