PERFORMERS Lizzie Tollemache and David Ladderman will be having double the fun in Invercargill this weekend.
The husband-and-wife team will present two of their shows as part of this year’s Southland Festival of the Arts – The Messy Magic Adventureand Dunstan Creek Seance
While Messy Magic is for the young in age and young at heart, Dunstan Creekis not for the faint-hearted.
“Anyone who likes ghost stories or scary movies will have an amazing time,” Tollemache said.
The duo have performed many times in Southland, including the hit Mr and Mrs Alexander: Sideshows and Psychics. This performance had a similar format, as they would go back and forth between telling the stories and recreating parts of them, she said.
“We’ve certainly got some sneaky things planned for the Repertory theatre.”
Based on real-life accounts of New Zealand hauntings, Tollemache said the paranormal story was inspired by a trip to Central Otago during their honeymoon.
“We started just hearing all these amazing ghost stories that we didn’t know about. Our honeymoon kind of became a research trip.”
Intrigued, they decided to visit famous places such as the Vulcan Hotel in St Bathans, the old coach inn at Danseys Pass and sites associated with goldmining including Doctors Point, near Alexandra.
“We thought how amazing to be able to give people a live, scary ghost story experience with real New Zealand ghost stories.”
People who enjoyed telling ghost stories and watching thrillers such as The Woman in Black or The Others would love the show, she said.
“We really wanted to challenge ourselves and see if we could make people feel scared and freaked out like they would in a scary movie in a live environment.
“It’s not horror, there’s not gore and blood splatter all over the place, it’s not that kind of show.”
Tollemache said their favourite part of performing the show was hearing the involuntary reactions from the audience – such as the “ahhs” and “don’t go in there”.
“It’s wonderful, it’s really exciting to see theatre giving people those reactions in real life.”
Tollemache said she was looking forward to being part of this year’s arts festival.
“We travel all over the world and people making the most of festivals like this and coming together and experiencing a range of shows in a short space of time is so wonderful and so important for the arts to continue to grow.”