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The Dark Carnival

Photo by Mihaela Bodlovic / Art Direction Niall Walker

A music and theatre spectacle, The Dark Carnival features sixteen performers and musicians. Through songs, spoken word and Vanishing Point’s unmistakeable imagery, they tell the story of newcomers to the afterlife who discover, much to their surprise, that death is not actually the end. Incredulous at their continuity, they form their own necropolitan community where every night is party night: songs get sung, love gets made and whisky flows.

Above the ground, the cemetery brims with life. But a mysterious event throws the lives of the living into uncertainty. When news reaches the cemetery, an underground revolution begins, led by the stoical Mrs Mark and her band of necropolitans.

Created and performed by Vanishing Point and A New International, The Dark Carnival will transport audiences into an unexpected vision of the afterlife full of long-lost lovers, half-hearted ghosts, and songs that find themselves in a musical space somewhere in between Leonard Cohen and The Muppets.

'Necropolitan' by A New International, which will feature in The Dark Carnival 

The Dark Carnival: Unplugged

When the curtain comes down on the The Dark Carnival, an innovative, storytelling version of the show featuring A New International lead singer, Biff Smith, and a virtuoso storyteller - one of the actors from The Dark Carnival - will travel to town halls, tearooms and theatres across Scotland from Spring 2019. This will be developed as part of BRAW of on the Isle of Eigg.

Performance dates

19 February - 20 February, 2019

Citizens Theatre at Tramway, Glasgow

21 February - 02 March, 2019

Citizens Theatre at Tramway, Glasgow

06 March - 09 March, 2019

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

13 March - 16 March, 2019

Dundee Rep Theatre 


Press reviews from A Night at the Theatre, an evening of songs and poetry from The Dark Carnival: 

"This production’s ringleader is Biff Smith of A New International, deadpan troubadour for the dead, with a mad grin and a voice somewhere between Jack Skellington and Freddie Mercury. The incomparable Pauline Goldsmith of Vanishing Point, joined by brilliant Peter Kelly, shine as tellers of tales, reciting poetic interludes from their black hymnals and bringing colourful characters [back] to life." **** Edinburgh Guide  on A Night at the Theatre

"A New International...have a strong, dramatic sound. Smith, who flits between acoustic guitar and accordion, is a flamboyant, charismatic front man, and with a violin, a double bass and a brass section also thrown into their mix, this move into theatre is a very natural transformation. With fine musicianship and its irreverent imagining of the afterlife, the pop opera and its national tour...promise much for next year." Pennyblack Music on A Night at the Theatre



Vanishing Point
A New International 
The Dark Carnival

A co-production with Citizens Theatre
In association with Dundee Rep Ensemble 

Conceived, written and directed by Matthew Lenton 
Songs and lyrics by Biff Smith
Music by A New International
Set & Costume Design by Kenneth MacLeod
Lighting Design by Simon Wilkinson
Assistant Director Nikki Kalkman

Cast includes: 
Olivia Barrowclough
Malcolm Cumming Robertson Trust Citizens Theatre Actor Intern
Elicia Daly
Peter Kelly
Natali McCleary
Ramesh Meyyeppan
Ann Louise Ross 
Laurie Scott

The band: 
Biff Smith
Caroline Evens
Craig Laurie
Stephen McGourty
Jo Shaw
Harry Ward 
Ross Bahlaj
Euan Allardice

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