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London Horror Festival 2021
INTERVIEW

David Alnwick
NIGHTMARE MAGIC
October 28 & 29 
pleasance.co.uk

When Rob Blake discovers a coded journal in his late uncle’s attic, he enlists my help, a magician, to decipher them. Join me as I present our supernatural findings to the world. Be warned, these demonstrations are not for the faint of heart.

Hi David thank you for talking to The New Current, how have you been holding up during these very strange times?

Pretty well, considering. 

Has this time provided you with any new creative inspiration or opportunities?

Writing kept me going. I penned the first draft of a novel, a play, and a pile of short stories. Several of the latter became Nightmare Magic.

What does it mean to you to be bringing your new show Nightmare Magic to the London Horror Festival 2021, are there be any nerves ahead of your run? 

After running it at the Edinburgh Fringe for three weeks, I'm excited to try it in a new space and for an audience of exclusively horror fans. 

Can you tell me a little bit about Nightmare Magic, what was the inspiration behind your new show?

I love magic but I got bored of just 'trick, trick, trick'. I wanted to tell a story, and scary stories are my favourite kind. Nightmare Magic is a series of six short tales, tied together with an overarching narrative. Each story surrounds a haunted object, and (using magic) I demonstrate its supernatural nature. Some stories are in the vein of 'classic ghost story', others are more 'Lovecraftian cosmic horror'. There's something for everyone.

What were the biggest challenges you faced bringing Nightmare Magic to the stage?

Pandemic aside, the challenges were mostly creative. I've spent the last four years searching for the best way to use magic to tell a story, instead of just having a trick stand alongside a story. It's a journey that'll likely take me the rest of my life. 

Do you ever face any pressure writing, directing and performing in a production like Nightmare Magic?

It's a multifaceted job, for sure, and if you don't manage your time properly it can easily get on top of you. I'm lucky to be able to work with some excellent professionals who lighten the load. 

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"Chances are, any idea you've had has already been done and written about, seek out those books and read them."

Have you always had a passion for theatre?

When I was 14 my Dad convinced me to take Drama GCSE and that changed the course of my life for sure. I fell in love with all of it.

How much has your approach to your work changed since you started out?

Drastically throughout the years. I could talk about it for hours, probably days. I honestly couldn't answer this question without speaking 10,000 words. 

What's the best piece of advice you would offer fellow theatre-makers?

I can only speak from very limited personal experience, but what helped me is to do the reading. Chances are, any idea you've had has already been done and written about, seek out those books and read them. You'll reach higher by standing on the shoulders of giants. Also, your first draft is the rock from which you sculpt your story so edit, rewrite, and rework. 

And, finally, what do you hope your audiences will take away from Nightmare Magic?

I set out to write a roller coaster. There's no deeper themes or unique takes on the world. I hope my audience leave feeling as though it was a fun, exciting, and scary ride.