This Hallowe’en Invite Dracula Into Your Home with the Bram Stoker Festival

Bram Stoker Festival, one of Dublin’s biggest and most anticipated festivals, this year challenges Dubliners to invite Dracula into their home and enjoy the festival in a fangtastic new way. The programme of events has been specially curated to offer thrills and chills at home, while Dublin’s streets will be illuminated for a special walking tour, which can be enjoyed by individuals at their leisure without fear of crowds. From chilling audio theatre in your bed to creating Macnas puppets at home, the festival has plenty of deadly adventures to occupy little monsters and aged vampires over the midterm and Halloween Weekend.

Bram Stoker Festival 2020 (1) – Sarah Joyce, Karen Hurley, Sally McGowan & Robyn McGowan

Bram Stoker Festival is an initiative of Dublin City Council and Fáilte Ireland, produced by Schweppe Curtis Nunn. 

This year’s festival will give Dubliners the opportunity to reconnect with their city in a safe and celebratory way. DracuHa!, a walking tour with a devilish difference, is a self-guided audio tour through Dublin, where listeners will be guided by some of Ireland’s most celebrated writers, humourists and comedians (including Tony Cantwell, Seamus O’Reilly and Hannah Mamalis) regaling you with their personal horror stories inspired by Dublin’s fair streets. By night, the tour will be complemented by projections and animation at various spots in the city, all based on the stories, by The Project Twins, Holly Pereira and Lightscape. Along the route, you’ll discover the life and vibrancy still throbbing in the heart of Dublin.

At home, there’s plenty to thrill people of all ages. ETERNAL is a 20 minute immersive audio experience designed for one person to experience lying down alone in their bed. It explores the quandary of eternal life, and wonders what price you might pay to achieve it. Created especially for Bram Stoker Festival 2020, this at-home experience is strictly for grown-ups and created by Darkfield, the masters of multi-sensory audio thrills. Using binaural sound to play with your mind and get under your skin, ETERNAL will turn your home into a house of horror. Are you brave enough?

Bram Stoker Festival 2020 (2) – Ronan Hodson

 Bram Stoker Festival will partner once again with Macnas, bringing their magic right into your home. In a series of videos, released throughout the October midterm, the magic-makers at Macnas invite dreamers of every age, from 0 -100, to use the wonder of their imagination to bring to life their own Macnas story at home. Macnas are master storytellers who inspire and engage audiences creating big, bold, visual shows and performances through world-class theatrical experiences. In a year when a big parade is not possible, these child-friendly videos will guide them in creating their own magical world of Macnas at home. On Halloween, we invite everyone to film and share their Macnas creations with the world! 

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu said: “In these challenging times we find ourselves in, Dublin City Council is delighted to be in a position to celebrate Dublin author Bram Stoker and his famous novel ‘Dracula’ this Halloween weekend. The Bram Stoker Festival showcases Dublin’s cultural and creative side through a diverse programme of events suitable for all ages. This year, in light of current guidelines you can take part and engage from the comfort of your own home through our online/virtual programme of events. Dubliners can also take part in the audio walking tour of the city which incorporates key locations in the city centre.”

Bram Stoker Festival 2020 (5) – Melissa Carton, Carl Moore, Eric Moore & Alice Moore

Film and music fans will relish the Irish premiere of I AM NOT LEGEND, a new work of horror film-art by Andrea Mastrovito, with a new pulsing, killer soundtrack from Irish composers Matthew Nolan and Stephen Shannon. This radical reinterpretation of George Romero’s classic Night of the Living Dead was created during the pandemic by Andrea Mastrovito, an Italian artist working in New York. I am NOT legend investigates concepts of identity of our tumultuous times, with existential threat of zombies at the doorstep. The film is a commentary on the loss of identity and meaning, a reflection on the pandemic and an action packed heart-stopper for anyone looking for Halloween thrills. The screenplay adds new flesh to the cult classic; composed entirely of quotes from famous films, books and other sources.

The universe is in danger, and in Curse Hunters, you have an opportunity to save it! An interactive adventure game played through your phone, children will love this mind-bending series of interactive tasks, puzzles, and creative challenges to save the universe from an ancient curse! Guardians will guide their young explorer(s) as they create toxic elixirs in the kitchen, compose demon-wooing poetry, and dress up like the slick, dimension-surfing heroes they are. Only then shall the ancient curse be undone!

Speaking about the festival, Co-Director Maria Schweppe “In a year where many events have been postponed or cancelled, we’re thrilled to present a programme for Bram Stoker Festival which brings adventure into people’s homes. Fellow Co-Director Tom Lawlor commented “We also want people to enjoy the city safely, so we’re thrilled to give people an opportunity to roam the city streets with DracuHa!, an audio tour which will take you through town and surprise and delight you with specially commissioned projections and animations on some of our landmark buildings”. 

Children will have deadly craic during Dracula’s Disco, a festival favourite which this year will stream online to enjoy at home. This fun-packed and energetic DJ set will be perfect for young zombies, ghosts and all music-loving monsters. So get your boo!-gie on and have a blast!

Warmbloods is a self-guided, darkly comedic tour of the National Gallery of Ireland, from two lady-like members of Dublin’s vampire community, Anne and Winifred. Your guides regret that they cannot be with you in person, but still promise to whisper in your ear and lead you astray in visions of exposed flesh, murder, darkened rooms, storms and a cruel-to-be-kind dissection of your ‘warmblood’ mortal nonsense and obsession with immortality. This audio-tour will be available to download or stream throughout the festival dates.

Sink your teeth into the full festival programme at www.bramstokerfestival.com