Something A Little Different, Theatre/Arts, Walks & Tours
A Gothic Magic Lantern Show with Mervyn Heard
'Astonishment seized me. My bones shivered within me. My flesh trembled over me. My lips quaked. My mouth opened. My hands expanded. My knees knocked together. My blood grew chilly, and I froze with terror.'
The magic lantern is believed to have been invented by Dutch polymath Christiaan Huygens in the seventeenth century. Samuel Pepys reports having attended a demonstration of one in his diary for 1666. The early itinerant lanternists or “gallantry showmen” would set up stall in wayside inns or at country fairs, projecting eerie visions of demons, skeletons and phantoms, which could be utterly terrifying for audiences who had never before seen any form of technology. In the Victorian age with its obsession with the Gothic and spiritualism whole theatres were devoted to magic lantern shows, where magicians would conjure up ghosts and seemingly raise the dead.
For London Month of the Dead 2016, Professor Mervyn Heard will conjure up the black art of Phantasmagoria with his 19th Century Magic Lantern in Brompton Cemetery Chapel. Watch and behold as skeletons waltz across the wall and nuns bleed to their death despite a life of virtue.
Each ticket includes a delightful gin cocktail and a 20% donation towards a host of restoration projects at Brompton Cemetery.
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