Wriiters' Bloc: The Real Dead Poets' Society
What’s the deal with this Séance Fiction thing, then, Bram from The Skinny… eh, Texture from Writers Bloc who is in no way connected to The Skinny. Anything behind it beyond an admittedly excellent name?
This new Writer's Bloc show is a bit of a departure - we've frequently used video projections, music and other media to enhance our live literature events in the past, but for Seance Fiction, we've decided to plug directly into the ectoplasmic power of the etheric plane.
That sounds very eco-friendly.
For the past few months, we've been experimenting with necromancy, spirit-raising, ritual magic, incantations and occult knowledge. Using rare and occult grimoires of ancient, suppressed knowledge, we've been attempting to 'cross over' to the other side and contact the spirits of the dead.
I like your angle. But how far can you keep on spinning this line…
We have come to think of ourselves as 'necronauts' - explorers of the afterlife, fearless biographers of the mouldering, the rotten and the departed.
Pretty far, it would seem. Tell me, then, and in character, Texture, what have you learned?
First of all, the dead have an appetite for fiction.
At some of our experimental summonings, we have had restless spirits requesting tales about specific subjects - one of our writers was commissioned by a dead eighteenth-century Russian Tsarist Count to write a speculative fiction piece about steam-powered horses.
The Ghost of a Russian Tsarist Count? That explains why I hadn’t seen him round Partick way of late. Owes me a fiver, n’all.
Unfortunately, the writer failed to deliver on the agreed deadline and... well, we haven't heard from him since. I'm sure he's fine, though.
Unless he’s in Partick.
In other experiments, we have conjured deceased writers and compelled them to speak - we've had visits from a number of literary greats, who I can't name right now, as we're incontractual negotiations with them about their fee for appearing as channelled spirits at the Halloween show.
I’m guessing that’s Fyodor Dostoevsky. All about the Benjamins, the Big D is.
The dead have surprisingly good access to legal representation, it seems - there are apparently as many lawyers as there are writers in Hell.
*Groan*. Moving on… how will this play out on stage?
On Halloween itself, we'll be conducting a live séance at the Bongo Club, using our custom-designed Ouija Board to summon and converse with the spirits of the dead. Writers' Bloc have a long tradition of themed shows, for which we always conduct in-depth research.
I didn’t know Bongos and Ouija mixed. Tell me about the research?
Our show for the Edinburgh Science Festival engaged with near-future technologies; our Mr Big Society show was a political piece commenting on Cameron's Britain, and our show at the 2011 Edinburgh Book festival paired experimental music with fiction. For Seance Fiction, we intend to showcase fictional tales inspired, written, and in some cases 'spoken' by the dead, allowing the afterlife to briefly touch the world of the living. Without giving too much away, there will be opportunities for audience participation, there will be scares, there will be laughs, and hopefully, there won't be any deaths... although we can't promise that, obviously.
Obviously. What can audiences expect from the stories featured in the show?
Writers' Bloc features the talents of writers such as Andrew C Ferguson, Gav Inglis, Morag Edward, Andrew J Wilson, Kirsty Logan, Mark Harding and Bram E Gieben.
I know that last name from somewhere… Sum up for me, Texture, what these writers bring to the (gory, blood spattered) table?
Well, you could be in for some gore-filled horror, spectral science fiction, bloody realism, and maybe even some Edgar Allen Poe-try.... anything could happen, and probably will. In the words of another great necronaut and black magician, a certain Mr Aleister Crowley, akaThe Great Beast 666, all we can definitely guarantee is that in Seance Fiction, "Nothing is true and everything is permitted."
Impressive. I might even go...