Dark adventures in the city

by Ian Begley

THIS October Bank Holiday weekend Dublin is set to summon the supernatural as the Bram Stoker Festival presents four days of living stories and four nights of deadly adventures in venues across the city.
From October 28 to 31, thriller-seekers will be invited to Glasnevin’s Botanic Gardens for an after-dark experience like no other this year.
Step inside the world of Nightmare Plants (Oct 28 and 29, tickets €10), an immersive performance in the Victorian glass house.
Join a centuries-old plant-hunter and mysterious purveyor of new and unusual species as he opens his glasshouse for the first time to see the deadliest of Mother Nature’s creations.
Game-lovers and fans of some freakish fun can take part in Werewolf (Oct 28 to 31), a high stakes parlour game which tests improv and observational skills.
Master-storytellers and creators of unforgettable interactive experiences, Macnas, return to Bram Stoker Festival (Oct 31, Henry St, 6pm, free) to summon spirits and awaken the ghosts with a new parade like no other seen in Dublin. Under cloak of twilight, magic will be released in a stunning crescendo of street art, parade and thundering music on Moore St and Henry St.
Other ghoulish adventures taking place over the weekend include Prohibition: the Beautiful and the Damned at IMMA with Film Fatale (Oct 29, Tickets €34 plus booking fee), a night of gothic glamour, strange curiosities, the bewitching and the bizarre at Ireland’s most elegantly decadent Halloween celebration; while Horror Expo in the stunning surroundings of Freemasons Grand Lodge (Oct 30, 2pm-2am, tickets €39.50) will deliver a one-of-a-kind event which promises to please the most ardent of horror fans.
The festival extends to Bram Stoker’s homestead of Clontarf where, in St Anne’s Park, Behind The Dark by Loosysmokes (Oct 28 and 29, various times, Tickets €15), a dark and frenetic aerial acrobatics show in the park’s centuries old trees which has previously wowed audiences in Kilkenny and at Dublin Fringe Festival 2015.
Families are encouraged to venture out in fancy dress and visit Stokerland (Oct 29 and 30, 11am-4.30pm, free).
See St Patrick’s Park like never before as it is transformed into a pop-up gothic theme park featuring the macabre talents of world-class street performers, with rides and attractions to ensure a fangtastic time.
Previously announced events include Bleedin’ Deadly (Oct 28 to 31, 9pm, Tickets €20) a raucous celebration of a time when the Freak Show dominated in all its shocking glory, in the atmospheric Pillar Room of the Rotunda Hospital, and specially created for Bram Stoker Festival, Dracula Live at the National Concert Hall (Oct 29, 8pm, Tickets €27/€22) sees leading Irish musicians Matthew Nolan and Sean MacErlaine create a deathly new score for Todd Browning’s 1931 classic movie Dracula performed live on the night.
Dubliners and visitors to the city are invited to follow the fun using #BiteMeDublin at www.facebook.com/BramStokerDublin and @bramstokerdub on Twitter and Instagram.

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