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Gothic Manchester Festival Preview

Writers, architecture, academics, walking tours and zombies… Zombies?

Published on October 16th 2013.

Gothic Manchester Festival Preview

NO NOT the nail a dead crow to a crucifix down Cathedral Gardens or stomp around wearing big black boots that could penetrate the outer armour of an M1A2 Abrams tank type of gothic, but an exploration of the Gothic arts, literature, architecture, music and cinema with a few punter-pleasers thrown in to (big black) boot.

Because what is a Gothic festival without a hands-on ghost hunt? A crap one, that’s what.

Expect readings from award-winning Gothic writers such as Ramsey Campbell and Conrad Williams, architectural tours taking in spots such as the glorious Victorian neo-gothic John Ryland Library and the Town Hall

To celebrate the launch of the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies at the Manchester Metropolitan University  – the first academic centre of its kind in England – the festival will play host to a multitude of events and activities from Monday 21 October to Sunday 27 October.

One legged Larry was a crap ghostOne legged Larry was a crap ghost

The events have been put together in order to exhibit Manchester’s Gothicity in the week leading up to Halloween. You know, the Christian vigil observed on the eve of All Saints Day on 1 November. The one where kids throw eggs at your house.

Expect readings from award-winning Gothic writers such as Ramsey Campbell and Conrad Williams, architectural tours taking in spots such as the glorious Victorian neo-gothic John Ryland Library and the Town Hall, a torch-lit wander through the Manchester Art Gallery, creative writing workshops, a horror double-bill at the Cornerhouse, documentaries, a ‘Monstrous Manchester’ tour, a series of academic discussions and even a Zombie-themed pub quiz.

Quite what Zombies have to do with Gothic studies we’re unsure, Frankenstein’s monster perhaps, but was he even a Zombie? Certainly not I Am Legend Zombies, they're about as Gothic as Abba. We're confused.

Then again, it’s a festival... so they can do as they ruddy well please.


Here's the festival listings:

Monday 21 October:

A talk on Gothic music by expert Prof. Isabella van Elferen, MMU Geoffrey Manton Lecture Theatre 4, 5.30pm

Tuesday 22 October:

Zombie pub quiz, Odder Bar (upstairs), Oxford Road, 8pm-Midnight

Wednesday 23 October:

Ghost hunt, Ordsall Hall, Salford, 6pm-10pm

Thursday 24 October:

Documentary and presentation by Prof. David Punter, Manchester Art Gallery, 6pm-7.30pm

Lamp-lit tour of Manchester Art Gallery, 7.45pm-8.45pm

Friday 25 October:

Tales of the Manchester Dead tour, Town Hall, 7.30pm-9pm

Goth Club night Ara, Sacred Trinity, Chapel Street, Salford, 9pm-2am

Saturday 26 October:

MMU Gothic Open Day: Readings, creative writing workshops and competitions, MMU New Business School room G.35, 9.30am-5pm

Gothic horror film double-bill, Cornerhouse, 8.30pm-Midnight

Sunday 27 October:

The 'Montrous Manchester' tour, outside Crown Court on Minshull Street, 11am-12.30pm

Gothic tour of John Rylands, John Ryland on Deansgate (funnily enough), 1.30pm-2.15 pm and 2.15pm-3pm

Twisted Tales reading and Q&A with Ramsey Campbell, Conrad Williams and Stephen McGeagh, International Anthony Burgess Foundation, 6pm-7.30pm

All events are ticketed and most are FREE. Apply online here.

To find out more, e-mail gothic@mmu.ac.uk

Follow on Twitter @gothicmmu

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