Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween at Tredegar

Halloween. How quickly it comes round.

We are preparing for the final, and, inevitably, busiest night of the Halloween festivities. For those of you who haven't been to this event: Tredegar House, essentially, is transformed into something of a 'ghost train'. You wander through the House and prepare to be frightened.

Some are good at frightening people. I am not. Being slight of stature, short on height, and rather mild mannered by nature, I am not the most intimidating of figures. I would not elicit much of a response jumping out at people, no matter how terrifying my costume might be. Consequently, you will never find me at Tredegar House at Halloween lurking in cupboards, or charging at guests shrieking profusely. Laughter not screams would fill the air.

I am usually to be found in the 'sketches' that are set up (it is very kind of those in charge to put me in these). This is far more my scene. It also gives me a chance to ham it up dreadfully. And I do mean dreadfully. My accents are a wonder to behold. I am thinking of setting up a competition whereby members of the public try to guess what accent I am supposed to be doing at any given time. I doubt many would get the continent right, never mind the nation. Still, it is all in good fun, and nothing is taken seriously.

My Halloween participation over the years has included:

The Witchfinder General, A Vicar at a Vampire Wedding, Dr Van Helsing in a 'How To Stake A Vampire' routine (I think this was my favourite. It was written by Goff Morgan, whose brand of silliness suits me perfectly), Dennis Samosa a fake Scouse psychic medium, and Dr Jekyll (twice).

This year I am back in the Receiving Cellar playing the role of Dr Boris, an archetypal Central European 'mad scientist'. The idea is a very simple one. I rant for a bit and then my 'pets' are introduced to the audience, with predictable results. All good fun. There is a little bit of audience interaction. My accent is supposed to be German, but, despite my best efforts, it goes on the Grand Tour at regular intervals (it takes in Dutch, Italian, Russian, a bit of Welsh, and even has traits of Indian and Chinese, for a truly exotic flavour). At one point I ask the audience if they have any pets. Last night I asked a lady this question in my usual over-the-top Germanish accent, only to find her replying, to my great chagrin, in German!

Halloween at Tredegar House is nothing if not unpredictable.

I would be very interested in any feedback from people who have attended the event. Stuck as I am in the cellar, I never actually see the whole thing myself. I can always pass on your messages and suggestions to the powers-that-be.

Tonight should be extremely busy. I hope there are no easily offended Germans in the House. Not that they could guess my accent in any case......


ryan said...

so far its been fun taking part in the tours tonight will be awesome

Paul Busby said...

Hopefully tonight will be a really good night.

Halloween night itself is always sold out and many of the visitors tonight will have booked their tickets weeks in advance, so should be very eager to enjoy themselves.

I have to laugh at the people who turn up with folded arms determined to prove that nothing frightens them. I think they miss the point. It's supposed to be FUN!

Nothing should be taken seriously at Halloween at Tredegar House.

Some great people have visited the House though. One little boy was REALLY eager to buy a pet zombie off me! He thought they were great!

ryan said...

was a great night as we got the last two tours through i ran to the garden and put my micheal myers gear on then helped the chainsaw guys with scaring the people in the garden

Anonymous said...

It was my first time here on halloween, and I enjoyed every minute. I would love to do it again, and would recommend it to my friends or to any one who is looking to do something for fun on halloween.

The scariest part for me was on the top floor with mike myers. I felt my heart in my mouth.

Anonymous said...

haha looks like my micheal myers scared the wits outa someone

Anonymous said...

i went last year and i remember the mad scientist, very funny!!

i think the chainsaws were really scary and the zombies, nearly had a heart attack

but was very fun!

Anonymous said...

i have never been to tredegar house for halloween but this year i am going i can not wait. All my friends have been saying it is awsome ! (:

Charlotte said...

Halloween At Tredegar Is Amazing, Scary But Funny, Went Last Year & Cant Wait Too Go This Year, Wooo. My Two Friends Cried Last Year They Was That Scared But They Are Going Again. The Chainsaw & Clown Had To Be The Worse, The Clown Grabbed My Hair :(
But Overall It Was Fun !

Anonymous said...

I'm going this year and cant wait!Everyone has said to me its amazing! I'm going with my friends but they get scared so easily so should be funny!!!

halloweeeen xxxx said...

i went last year and those chain saws were SOOO scary !! i knew they were never even gunna touch me but i still screamed my head off ! thought i was gunna have a heart attack...:/

Anonymous said...

OMG I went last night and those chainsaws were SOOOO SCARY! The guy with the freaky clown mask saw I was scared and revved at me! I fell over and ruined my new leggings! The noise maker was freaky too!

Anonymous said...

Is there going to be a 'Halloween at Tredegar' this year?

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