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 2016

A night of chilling storytelling.

A fabulously spooky evening at the Old Red Lion as part of the London Horror Festival.

17th October, 9.30pm.

Lucy’s Tea Party by Molly Beth Morossa

Chug Life by Dave Bibby

The Dewey Ones by Ben Whitehead

The Flat Upstairs by Paul Joseph

Skag n’ Bone Man by Stack 10 Theatre (written by Ed Hartland, performed by Stuart Vincent)

At The Edge by Ed Bailey

The Haunt by Stack 10 Theatre (written by Ed Hartland, performed by Charis King)

Compered by Ellie Pitkin

Photos by Charlotte Discombe, Helen Johnson and Ellie Pitkin

5 Minutes with Duncan Gates

Writer of Fetch for our Halloween Tales production, Duncan Gates, answers our (very challenging) questions.

Duncan Gates, writer of Fetch
Duncan Gates, writer of Fetch

What gave you the idea to write Fetch?

A segment on a BBC late-90s midweek evening show called ‘Mysteries with Carol Vorderman’, where a security guard reported having met himself at night . It had no other incident or closure and I’ve always wondered why anyone would make that up. That and a story in late-80s kids TV series Dramarama called ‘Back to Front’, where a kid gets a magic mirror and horror ensues…

Besides Fetch, what’s the piece you’ve written that you’re most proud of?

Right now it’s probably a Chekhovian sci-fi called Blue Dot – it made an audience member gasp at Martian racism.

Why did you decide to pick the M.R. James story (The Wailing Well) that you’re reading for Halloween Tales?

Picture of the man himself, M.R. James, via

It’s got a terrific range of tone, starting with Kenneth Grahame bucolic japes and ending on a Stephen King level of discomfort. It was also written for an actual scout group about the place where they used to camp – know your audience!

What’s the best play/show/concert you’ve ever been to?

It’s still Unlimited Theatre’s 2002 show ‘Neutrino’, because that actually changed my life artistically.

What’s your favourite horror movie?

Ring – 85 minutes of baffling unease, one massive long-form scare. Job done.

What scares you silly?

I have odd recurring mental images of being hit by vehicles at high speed. It’s either happened to me in a previous life or it will happen in the future. I don’t know which. That scares me. That and ‘Back to Front’.

Have you ever had a spooky experience?

I’ve heard a radio turn itself on; had something incorporeal fly through my head into a wall; been woken up by a whistling noise that made me feel sick and then stopped; had something touch my hand in the Edinburgh caverns. So yes, a few.

You’re going to a Halloween Party, what are you dressing up as?

I have previously gone to a Hallowe’en party dressed as the desert.

Not a lot of people know that…

An ancestor of mine was a champion penny-farthing-racer.

What’s your guilty pleasure?


What really grinds your gears?

People making art about things they aren’t interested in.

Come to see Fetch 30th and 31st Oct and 1st Nov and see Duncan read ‘The Wailing Well’ on ACTUAL HALLOWEEN. Tickets available now.