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FRIGHT LINES: The Uplifters – Payne Killer

How would you describe your show in one sentence?

A thrilling black comedy horror of torture and revelations in which a widow fights for her life, while a serial killer is determined to take it away.

Horror is notoriously difficult to pull off onstage – how to you approach it?

By always thinking of what the audience may be thinking and focusing on the macabre sense of humour hidden within us all.

How did the show develop?

A friend who wanted to direct Hilary [Palmer] and Rowan [Dixon] brainstormed ideas with us for a brand new play. Rowan came up with a serial killer idea and over the coming months he developed the play in sections and in his head. After six months of research on innumerable serial killer profiles, he finally wrote it in nine days and the piece has since has been organically transformed in development to improve the storyline.

Given a blank cheque is there an existing horror story you’d like to bring to the stage?

Shallow Grave.

Are special effects essential for horror on stage or is it more effective to conjure an image in an audience’s mind?

To leave the audience with a sense of dread which lasts for weeks is so much more satisfying than a shocker. The psychological aftermath of distorting the illusion of safety in everyday life is true horror. “The anticipation of a bang” is fine, but it pales in significance from a continual fear from a play. So special effects are not a necessity.

On film, horror can be quite explicit, is there anything on stage you wouldn’t do?

Any taboo subject that would be uppermost in the social consciousness at the time, eg. paedophilia

What’s the one show that you don’t want to miss at this year’s Horror Festival (apart from your own!)?


What’s your favourite scary movie?

The Blair Witch Project.


Payne Killer is at the London Horror Festival from26 – 30 October 2015 | Image: Contributed

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The Reviews Hub London is under the editorship of John Roberts.The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.