The Horror Play – is it a thing of the past?

When Deanne and Balderson’s stage adaptation of Dracula opened in 1927, the audience found the play truly frightening.  Apparently, when Bela Lugosi performed the role, there were screams and fainting.  Of course, now the play seems very dated and overly talky.  Film has taken over where theatre once ruled: the horror film provides scares and theatre isn’t known for its terror.

I wonder – is it possible for theatre to provide scares any more?   With the exception of Ghost Stories (which seems to be just that…the telling of some ghost stories), can the theatre provide a scary story?  A monster story?  Can the audience be made to jump and scream?

It should be possible.  But what do you think?


  1. Dammit, now you’re making me want to write one …

  2. I feel that ‘Little One’ at SummerWorks, Moscovitch’s ‘The Huron Bride’ as part of the Mill (which I didn’t see), ‘Minotaur’ from a few years back all fall under some kind of horror genre. More psychological, mind games horror, but still trying to be spook. I found ‘Minotaur’ really creepy.

    I think that slasher horror or monster horror might be a little different but is TOTALLY doable onstage, and I’d love to see it happen, particularly the monster one! The convention of ‘we’re all trapped in this haunted place’ works so well because the audience is trapped in the theatre. I’d go to one for sure. I’d love to be in one.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *