News | Monday, 14th October 2019
Trick and treat: Biggest-ever Gothic Manchester Festival returns for spooky extravaganza
Talks, screenings and immersive events all themed on 'Gothic Times'
Spooky film screenings, eerie immersive arts experiences, zombie survival games and expert talks all form part of the biggest-ever Gothic Manchester Festival.
The strange offspring of the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University, this year’s festival spans the entire month of October, culminating in a range of public events around Halloween that showcases the dark delights of the city’s Gothic past, present and future.
This year’s theme is ‘Gothic Times’, in reference to the political and economic upheavals that have characterised the opening decades of the 21st century, and which demonstrate that Angela Carter’s famous 1974 assertion that “we live in Gothic Times” has never been more apt.
Now in its seventh year, the Gothic Manchester Festival is part of the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies’ mission to promote the study of the Gothic both nationally and internationally, as well as to unmask and, indeed, celebrate Gothic culture for wider public audiences.
Many of this year’s events are run in collaboration with HAUNT Manchester, a University partnership with businesses and cultural organisations across the city celebrating all things mysterious; and with Halloween in the City, Visit Manchester’s programme of spooky events throughout October.
The range of exhibitions, screenings, events, writing workshops and gaming sessions includes:
- Writing Manchester Gothic: An Audience with Tania Hershman and Rosie Garland – An evening of readings of poetry and prose from two acclaimed Manchester-based Gothic writers.
- RURAL EERIE: Exploring the Strange Countryside through Sounds and Words - Manchester Metropolitan writers perform as part of event which seeks to explore the idea of the eerie countryside through music, sound, spoken word, poetry and visuals.
- Monster Mash – A Halloween Dance Spectacular – Introduced by Dr Emma Liggins, an expert in links between Gothic and performance, this dance show will include a showcase of dark and terrifying performances, in a variety of dance styles from ballet and musical theatre to contemporary.
- Halloween Horror Movie Night – Clive Barker Double Bill – A collaboration between the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies and Grimmfest, with Candyman and Hellraiser, two films by the legendary horror director Clive Barker, introduced by University Gothic literature and film expert Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes.
- HAUNT Manchester at Rochdale Town Hall – Join University researchers at the neo-Gothic masterpiece Rochdale Town Hall for an afternoon of talks and tours, talking about why ghosts scare and intrigue us and Rochdale’s own mysterious legends.
- Gothic Manchester Festival Conference 2019 – ‘Gothic Times’ – A series of 20-minute talks on all aspects of Gothic Times – featuring literature, film, television, music, graphic novels, games, subcultures and more.
Professor Dale Townshend, Professor of Gothic Literature at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “Since its inception in 2013, the annual Gothic Manchester Festival has become a highlight on local and national Goth and Gothic calendars. This year we are particularly delighted to be offering such a rich and exciting programme, embedding the research of the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies in and around the city so as to celebrate Manchester’s Gothic past, present and future.”
Tickets for the events throughout October are available via the Gothic Manchester Festival website.