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The Dark Carnival: Unplugged

The Dark Carnival: Unplugged is an intimate music and theatre show. With songs, storytelling and a free (though not compulsory!) glass of whisky for everyone, it tells the tale of newcomers to the afterlife who discover that death is not actually the end. Incredulous at their continuity, they form their own necropolitan community where every night is party night.

Based on the five-star theatre spectacular The Dark Carnival, this ‘unplugged’ version features Biff Smith on acoustic guitar and narrator Robert Jack telling the story of the residents of Dickinsons Brae cemetery - a love story that spans life and death and a celebratory, heart-warming night out. 

Inspired by Weimar cabaret, danse macabre, Kurt Weill and Lionel Bart, the songs find themselves in a musical space somewhere in between Leonard Cohen and The Muppets.


Sponsored by The Famous Grouse

Read co-director Nikki Kalkman's blog here.  

Performance dates

13 May, 2019

Isle of Eigg Community Hall
Presented by Isle of Eigg Residents Association

16 May, 2019

Theatre Royal, Dumfries

17 May, 2019

Paisley Arts Centre Grounds
Part of Out of Place Festival

18 May, 2019

Eastgate Theatre, Peebles

19 May, 2019

MacArts, Galashiels

22 May, 2019

Latheron Hall
Presented by Lyth Arts Centre

24 May, 2019

Dunoon Burgh Hall

25 May, 2019

Cairndow Village Hall
Presented by Argyle Arts Collective

26 May, 2019

The Barn, Banchory

27 May, 2019

Byre Theatre, St. Andrews

29 May, 2019

Eden Court, Inverness

30 May, 2019

Birnam Arts Centre

31 May, 2019

Aberdeen Music Hall

01 June, 2019

Scotland Street School Museum
Presented with Citizens Theatre


‘Think Edgar Allan Poe Hosting Jackanory...While the full version of The Dark Carnival is to be cherished in all its grandiloquent glory, this pocket-sized reimagining conjures up a cabaret-styled sprite of a show, which, given the ghost of a chance, suggests it might yet have a long life to come.’ ★★★★ The Herald




Vanishing Point
A New International

The Dark Carnival: Unplugged

Written by Matthew Lenton
Songs, lyrics and music by Biff Smith
Co-directed by Nikki Kalkman & Matthew Lenton
Set & Costume design by Kenneth MacLeod
Created by Vanishing Point
Performed by Biff Smith & Robert Jack


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