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Dark Carnival, The

On Tour

A music and theatre spectacle, The Dark Carnival features sixteen performers and musicians. They tell the story 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: songs get sung, love gets made and whisky flows. Read more …

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 InternationalThe Dark Carnival will transport audiences into an unexpected vision of the afterlife full of long-lost lovers, half-hearted ghosts, and songs.

The critical consensus

With its likeable characters, endearing cast and fun script, it sits closer to heaven than to hell.

***(*)(*)Scott Purvis, Across the Arts

Narrative uncertainty aside, it’s a gorgeous looking and sounding production.

***(*)(*)Mark Fisher, The Guardian, 22/02/2019

While it may have too many songs, and the plot could have used restructuring, The Dark Carnival is a powerhouse of Scottish theatrical and musical talent. We defy anyone not to enjoy themselves at these performances.

****(*)Ryan Hay, The Skinny, 25/02/2019

It's cosy rather than decadent, with emotional punches that are thrown in velvet gloves. But there is heart and humour, and the charming cast and band are a pleasure to spend time with – now, or in the afterlife.

***(*)(*)Lorna Irvine, The List, 25/02/2019

It’s hard to do anything other than sit back and revel in this strange and wonderful entertainment for the moment we live in; and for all those who understand how human beings can always create songs and stories, wit and beauty, even in extremis.

****(*)Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman, 26/02/2019

As with much of Vanishing Point’s previous work, there is plenty to reflect on here about loss and grieving. This lends a poignancy to things.

*****Neil Cooper, Coffee-Table Notes, 27/02/2019

If the production impresses musically and visually (thanks to MacLeod’s excellent netherworld of tree roots and sarcophagi), Lenton’s script and characterisations are less consistent.

Mark Brown, Scottish Stage, 27/02/2019

A rich tapestry of ideas and characters and a poignant memento mori that is ultimately life affirming.

****(*)Allan Radcliffe, 26/02/2019

Overall, a superbly realised, haunting tale of the underworld and the people who live in it—as A New International's song calls them, Necropolitans. This is like descending under the Necropolis in Glasgow to discover a weird but exhilarating cabaret club.

Seth Ewin, British Theatre Guide, 07/03/2019

You won’t know if your crying with tears, sorrow or happiness.

****(*)Dominic Corr, The Reviews Hub, 07/03/2019

A strangely fascinating but oddly frustrating entertainment – theatre-cum-gig-cum-cabaret that impresses in fits and starts.

***(*)(*)Hugh Simpson, All Edinburgh Theatre, 07/03/2019

A wavering story told through both song and spoken word that despite its short fallings looks good and musically sounds great.

***(*)(*)Stephanie Allard, Review Sphere, 08/03/2019

Features about Dark Carnival, The

Biff Smith--Vanishing Point and The Dark Carnival

Neil Cooper, Coffee-Table Notes, 05/02/2019

Vanishing Point and The New International on The Dark Carnival

Amy Taylor, The Skinny, 15/02/2019

Vanishing Point celebrates 20 years with The Dark Carnival

Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman, 18/02/2019

The Dark Carnival fuses 'spoken word, vivid imagery, and rolling, whisky-drinking songs'.

Lorna Irvine, The List, 19/02/2019

The Dark Carnival, interview with Elicia Daly

Mark Brown, Scottish Stage, 20/02/2019

Where and when?

Tramway, Glasgow from Tuesday February 19, 2019, until Saturday March 2, 2019. More info:

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh from Wednesday March 6, 2019, until Saturday March 9, 2019. More info:

Dundee Rep Theatre, Dundee from Wednesday March 13, 2019, until Saturday March 16, 2019. More info:

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