Just hours after fans celebrated the news that Hammer is returning to cinemas with The Lodge, company bosses Marc Schipper and Simon Oakes were in Hoxton, East London to mark the upcoming launch of a new live, immersive theatre production.
Taking the studio back to the gothic vampire lore for which it’s best known, Hammer House of Horror Live: The Soulles Ones will see a nightly audience of 200 led “from the vaults to the rafters of Hoxton Hall” as they witness a terrifying vampire ritual.
The show is the headline attraction in Hoxton Hall’s autumn season and the venue, with its listed interior, offers a perfect and delightfully atmospheric staging for the production.
Despite its music hall origins, the venue is fully accessible to those with any mobility impairments, ensuring the production is open to all audiences.
Oakes told SEENIT that he’d deliberately opted not to base the show on any of Hammer’s classic Dracula films as they wanted offer a new take on the genre.
However, while the production team has worked to create an original story which it’s hoped will appeal to a wide audience, they say longterm Hammer fans will spot several ‘easter egg’ moments.
In previous interviews with this site, Oakes has spoken about his determination to ensure Hammer’s resurgence – which started with the box office hit, The Woman in Black – is sustainable longterm.
His and Schipper’s presence, alongside key members of the live show’s creative team, at the Hoxton season’s launch shows this commitment remains a core part of their approach.
Both co-owners are hoping The Soulles Ones, the first show of its kind for the company, will be successful enough to spawn further runs in other cities, both in the UK and abroad.
This would help give the Hammer brand a more persistent presence than is possible with a cinema-only focus given, as Schipper put it, the lengthy “gestation period” of a film project which needs months of negotiations to assemble funding and distribution, in addition to the actual production time.
Such shows would sit alongside a new Hammer visitor attraction the company is currently developing.
For its part, Hoxton Hall is also hoping the production will be the first of many, with Artistic Director Karena Johnson saying her team were “really excited” to be working with the “iconic” brand.
She added “This has been an incredible beginning to what we hope will be a long-lasting relationship with Hammer, working alongside them on many more thrilling and innovative projects’.”
Hammer House of Horror Live runs from From 3 October until Halloween. Visit hammerhouseofhorror.com for tickets.