The Space in the Isle of Dogs
Grand Guignol venue: The Space in the Isle of Dogs.

The story of one of the most feared horror theatres in the world will be told this month in a production at The Space, an arts centre in a formerly derelict church in the Isle of Dogs.

The Grand Guignol, written by East End playwright Francis Kobayashi, chronicles the story of the titular Parisian theatre that was also known as “the theatre of fear and terror”.

However, the production will concentrate on the history of the theatre itself, rather than just on the macabre and bloody scenes in which it specialised.

Tales will be told by characters including Maxa, the “most assassinated woman in the world”, and Andre Lorde, the “Prince of Terror”.

Hardcore horror fans fear not though – director Adam Hemming says that there will “definitely be some blood” in some of the shorter scenes of the play, but he adds that the theatre itself is the focus.

“It will be about the real life stories of the actors and staff, not just recreating the blood and gore of the theatre’s plays,” he says. “In the early days of the theatre the plays were much more about putting the lower classes and criminals on stage to perform.

“The history of the place is what the play will be focused on. It’s larger than just blood and gore.”

The Grand Guignol is on at The Space, 269 Westferry Road, E14 3RS until 2 November.

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