There’ll be all manner of spooky goings-on in Liverpool next week as the city’s first International Gothic Festival gets underway.The festival, which runs from November 18th – 24th, has been developed by Gothic expert Dr Ben Brabon, Reader in English Literature at Edge Hill University, a partner in the event alongside Shiverpool, Waterstones, Homotopia and River City Vision, with further support from the Arts Council.
Many people have been saying that Liverpool, with its atmospheric pubs, alleyways and historic buildings is the ideal venue for such a festival. Writers such as Tom Slemen (author of the highly successful Haunted Liverpool series) have made us all aware of Liverpool’s reputation for ghosts and ghouls.
Dr Brabon elaborated on the thinking behind the festival: ‘2014 marks the 250th anniversary of the publication of the first ever Gothic novel, and the celebrations are starting early with the inaugural Liverpool International Gothic Festival. The project will bring together a variety of different creative approaches to how the Gothic inhabits Liverpool. It’s a wonderful opportunity to experience a range of innovative interpretations of the Gothic at locations all over the city. From readings by writers such as Matt Haig [author of best-selling novel The Radley] to street performances by Shiverpool, the festival will be fun, entertaining and educational.’
You can see horror films at FACT, listen to readings at Waterstones, or explore the ghostliest parts of the city with Shiverpool. There are even Gothic cookery demonstrations, as well as seminars for those with a serious academic interest in the Gothic.
Edge Hill’s Ben Brabon says there’s also a strong educational strand to the festival, aimed at school and university students. ‘I’ll be offering some educational events, including ‘Frankenstein’s Workshop’ and ‘The Living Dead Laboratory’ that are aimed specifically at Years 12 and 13. These sessions will provide schools with a great opportunity to help pupils learn valuable insights into the social, political, scientific and historical context of some key Gothic A level texts.’ For their part, Edge Hill University students will have the opportunity to get involved in the management side of events, enabling them to develop new skills by working with professional partners.
Everyone in the region is invited to join in – as is anyone from the Other Side (and we don’t mean Manchester…).
For more information about the festival, visit www.facebook.com/TheLiverpoolGothicFestival