A celebration of Horror and Dark Fantasy in Film, Art and Literature for Newcastle Upon Tyne.
An umbrella ‘brand’ under which various genre themed events will take place throughout the year across Newcastle and the North East.
New ideas, new venues, passion and innovation, mixing classic and new work within the fields of genre Film, Theatre, Literature, and Art.
‘Novocastria Macabre’ is the brainchild of Horror Author Stephen Laws and Editor Neil Snowdon.
By design it will also showcase Newcastle as a location which is as vibrant, exciting and original as any in the UK for hosting Film and Literary events, supporting and showcasing genre oriented arts and narrative in the embracing, inclusive manner that is a hallmark of the North East.
Taking the gothic environs of the city’s Castle Keep as our central venue we’d also like to spread events out to other spaces across Newcastle, purpose built or otherwise. The Northern Mining Institute and Brunswick Methodist Church are a given, but it is our desire to use atmospheric locations across the city that best fit the events themselves to enhance the experience, and to open Newcastle up to visitors and locals alike so that they might see it with new eyes.
Unusual back rooms, old pubs, derelict buildings (depending on Health and Safety)… not only are these atmospheric for our purpose, making the events all the more unusual and attractive, they also help show the locations in a ‘new light’, and – we hope – inspire new and more creative uses of them for the future.
As professionals in our fields, we are eminently well connected to draw on the very best talent that the genre has to offer in the UK and beyond.
As an author and on-stage interviewer for The Festival Of Fantastic Films in Manchester, Stephen has a long established association with many of our finest writers of novels, film and television, but also with many of the actors, directors, musicians and technicians involved in the making of beloved classic genre films from across the world – from the gothic thrills of Hammer Horror, to the gory exploits of Spanish Zombie movies and Italian Giallo, and classic chills of ghost stories for television…
As a journalist, film programmer and editor of the acclaimed WE ARE THE MARTAINS: The Legacy of Nigel Kneale (a book which highlights the immense influence of one of Britain’s finest screenwriters), Neil is similarly well connected to many of the genre’s current practitioners. Together they bring not only their passion, professionalism and enthusiasm, but also the trust and confidence of their peers that this will be an exciting, worthwhile endeavour with which to be involved, and a memorable one to boot.
GOTHIC: THE TEMPESTUOUS LOVELINESS OF TERROR
Friday 17th June 7pm
For our inaugural event, what better time than the 200th anniversary of the momentous night on which Mary Wollstonecraft, Lord Byron and Percy Shelley told ghost stories to each other at Villa Diodati – the night when Frankenstein was born and the Horror genre changed forever! And what better way to celebrate than with a screening of Ken Russell’s GOTHIC at the Castle Keep, with screenwriter Stephen Volk (GHOSTWATCH, AFTERLIFE, THE AWAKENING), and Screenwriter/critic David Pirie (A Heritage Of Horror, MURDER ROOMS) in person to talk about the film, it’s making and that fateful night at Villa Diodati. One of the most important nights in the history of Horror!
HAUNTED PALACES OF THE NORTH EAST + BLACK SUNDAY (dir Mario Bava)
Horror author Stephen Laws talks about the now vanished ‘Flea Pit Cinemas’ that fed his hunger for the dark fantastic and influenced his career writing Horror. Followed by a screening of the kind of movie that you never see in cinemas today – Mario Bava’s BLACK SUNDAY (aka THE MASK OF SATAN aka REVENGE OF THE VAMPIRE).
TRIPPING THE DARK FANTASTIC: ANGELA SLATTER & ROBERT SHEARMAN IN CONVERSATION
Wed August 17th 7pm
World Fantasy Award Winner for her extraordinary ‘novel in mosaic’ THE BITTERWOOD BIBLE & OTHER RECOUNTINGS, Angela Slatter will be in the UK promoting her first novel VIGIL – a contemporary Urban Fantasy set in Angela’s home town of Brisbane Australia (if you like Ben Aaronovich’s RIVERS OF LONDON, you’re going to love this). As one of the leading lights of contemporary dark fantasy and horror fiction, Novocastria Macabre is thrilled to bring Angela to Newcastle to talk about her debut novel and her writing in general. Not only that but she’ll be discussing it with fellow author – and Doctor Who scriptwriter – Robert Shearman (TINY DEATHS, LOVE SONGS FOR THE SHY & CYNICAL, REMEMBER WHY YOU FEAR ME, ‘Dalek’.
Angela and Rob will be in conversation, taking questions, and signing books. A fantastic opportunity to hear two of the genre’s finest living authors discussing their work at length. If you’re a lover of weird fiction you don’t want to miss this!
AN EVENING WITH JOHN CONNOLLY
To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of John Connolly’s THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS, Novocastria Macabre presents an evening with the best selling author of the Charlie Parker series, focussed on his ‘Other’ work. His supernatural short stories and dark fairytale, The Book Of Lost Things.
AN EVENING WITH STEPHEN GALLAGHER
Bestselling author and script writer of DOCTOR WHO (Warriors Gate, Terminus), CHIMERA, OKTOBER, CHILLERS, MURDER ROOMS (Kingdom Of Bones), SPOOKS, ELEVENTH HOUR, SILENT WITNESS, CRUSOE and many more…
Join us for a very special evening with Stephen Gallagher as we look back at an extraordinary writing career and celebrate the release of his new novel ‘The Authentic William James’.
A panel of our finest genre TV writers come together to discuss writing Horror for small screen, the classics that influenced them, and how they can scar us just as deep.
Followed by a screening of a classic TV Chiller. Will it be GHOST WATCH? THE STONE TAPE? A WARNING TO THE CURIOUS? ROBIN RED BREAST? An episode of BEASTS?
An evening with screenwriters and authors of tie-in novels on writing for the Doctor, and why they love the show, plus audience Q&A…
THE SOUND OF FEAR
Sound and music in Horror films with screening of BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO or BLOW OUT…
SHADOWS IN THE NORTH: Local historian David Silk talks about the darker side of North East myth and legend. Plus screening of Ken Russell’s LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM…
IN THE DARK WOODS:
Acclaimed genre authors discuss underappreciated Master of the form, Algernon Blackwood
Plus screenings of Cult, Classic and Unknown movies of the genre with talks by genre authors, critics, actors and film makers…
WITH THANKS TO EVE LAWS FOR HER FANTASTIC ARTWORK… SEE MORE HERE!