Festival celebrates city’s art of darkness

The University-led Portsmouth DarkFest will be keeping the Halloween spirit going for the next month.

Portsmouth DarkFest will keep the Halloween spirit going for the next month.

Ghost stories, urban legends, historical serial killers and ‘Pompey noir’ are just a few of the subjects set to be explored in a month-long festival celebrating the darker side of art and culture.

Portsmouth DarkFest – a spin-off from the University of Portsmouth-led Supernatural Cities project – will bring together creative talent from the city and beyond for a packed programme of storytelling, live music, poetry performances, talks, plays, film screenings and art exhibitions at venues across Portsmouth from October 27 to November 30.

Highlights of the event – a collaboration between the University, Portsmouth Writers’ Hub and local arts collective 1000 Plateaus – include an evening with thriller writer Andy McNab (October 27), screenings of film classics including Sleepy Hollow (October 29) and The Shining (November 30), a ‘dark songs’ evening at The Square Tower (November 6), a ghost walk around Old Portsmouth (November 14), a lecture on urban monsters Spring-Heeled Jack and Jack the Ripper (November 16) and a ‘femmes fatales’ writers’ workshop (November 24).

There will also be a short story competition for teenagers at local schools.

Organiser Dr Karl Bell, senior history lecturer and director of the Supernatural Cities project, said: “The festival will celebrate all things dark and sinister, bringing together Portsmouth’s diverse but often disconnected creative communities around a common theme for one month.

“This promises to be a public engagement extravaganza, tapping into a popular interest in the supernatural, the macabre, crime and urban noir in the wake of Halloween.”

Supernatural Cities is an interdisciplinary network of humanities and social science scholars of urban environments and the supernatural.

For more information about the festival go to www.lifeisamazing.co.uk/darkfest. Anyone with questions about the festival can contact Dr Bell through supernaturalcities@port.ac.uk.

 

 

 

 

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