Sunday night was fright night for a group of sixty unknowing victims who dared venture into the unlit, cool Baronial Hall at Blackpool Winter Gardens. We met in the Galleon Bar, clueless to what lay ahead for the next hour, and filled in our disclaimers, or Fright Insurance, which required details such as next of kin, blood type and our deepest fears. Finally 6pm came and we were led upstairs to have, what was promised to be, the time of our lives.
In the absence of a hot date, as recommended on the Showzam! website, I had the company of fellow writer and altblackpool contributor, Vicky who had brought her teenage daughter and friend. I also recognised a few familiar faces from Showzam! Central; a testament to the family feel and thrill of the fair.
The show started with all of us crammed, shoulder to shoulder into a small side room. Even with the lights on, the atmosphere was building and there were a few panicked whispers of unwitting audience members wanting to leave before the fun began. Then, slowly, we filtered in to the dimly lit faux grandeur of the Baronial Hall and were welcomed by a professor and the ring leader, a scheming, fear-obsessed woman who didn’t seem to know if she was of English or German descent.
SpyMonkey have put together a spooky, shocking and rib-achingly funny show, involving the audience as its victims and making the majority of us jump intermittently and constantly hide from the hand choosing the next ‘volunteer’. My favourite parts were the possession of ‘Ange’ who turned from mild, nervous wife of ‘Tone’, to screaming nymphomaniac locked in a suitcase.
Fun, frights and frivolity are top of the menu for Spookshow. You’ll either wee yourself laughing or jump out of your skin. You should pay it a visit. And bring a spare pair of pants.
Tickets for Spookshow can be purchased from the ticket office, outside The Olympia at Blackpool Winter Gardens or via the Showzam! website.
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