The rats are out of the bag!

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If you’re one of our loyal followers on Twitter and Facebook (and if you’re not go here and here and become one… go on, we’ll wait…) then you’ll have seen that on Monday we went on sale for our new production ‘The Rats in the Walls & Other Tales’. We’re very excited about this production, which marks a number of Theatrical Firsts for Bring Out Your Dead…

The first First: ‘Rats’ is Bring Out Your Dead’s first original adaptation. We’ve spent the majority of the past few months in the (rather spooky) company of Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft as we worked on translating their terrifying stories into equally chilling pieces of theatre. Both authors write delicious prose, which has been very exciting to work with but has also posed two challenges for us:

  1. A lot of the original text is written in quite dense language – great for picking apart when you’re curled up with a book, but much trickier in live theatre when an audience only gets one shot at understanding it – how do we make the text leaner and the storytelling clearer?
  2. Both writers use detailed description in their stories to create atmosphere and convey tone – but the Golden Rule of theatre is “show don’t tell” – so how do we adapt all this description in a way that shows the audience rather than tells the audience, but also preserves the tone and atmosphere of the original text?

We’ve had a lot of fun rising to these challenges, and we feeling pretty confident that we have done Poe and Lovecraft justice in translating their stories for the stage.

Another First – we’ve partnered with The Bury St Edmunds Farmers Club who are providing their intimate and atmospheric venue for the production. When we first visited the venue in August the moment we saw the oak-panelled walls and Victorian-style fireplace we knew it would be the perfect place to stage our first Halloween show. It’s also a first for the Farmers Club: this will be the very first piece of theatre staged at the club (so we better be good!).

One final First: with this production we’ll be selling tickets using the unique “Pay What You Feel” scheme. This means that, instead of paying a fixed-price at the time of booking your ticket (as you would normally do when going to see a play), you book your ticket without paying any money upfront, come along and watch the show, then decide how much you pay based on how much you enjoyed it. We think “Pay What You Feel” is a brilliant scheme, not just for us, but for audiences too. Not only does it make theatre more accessible by allowing you to pay only what you can afford, it also eliminates the financial risk of going out to see something that you’re not sure if you’ll like. Fixed-price tickets mean you have to asses how much you will enjoy a show before you’ve even seen it, in order to decide whether it will be worth the financial investment you’re being asked for; it can lead to people’s theatre diets, understandably, becoming quite small and limited. Conversely “Pay What You Feel” means you can just come along to a show without worrying about whether you’ll like it or not – you might end up discovering your new favourite piece of theatre, or you might see something you absolutely hate, but either way there’s no obligation to spend your money. We were inspired to trial “Pay What You Feel” by the brave folk at Stockton Arts Centre, you can read about their experiences with the scheme here.

So, as you can imagine we’re very busy right now, but also very, very enthusiastic about the show and this next chapter for Bring Out Your Dead.

We’re going to keep blogging as often as we can to keep you update on all our comings and goings over the next few weeks, but in the meantime we wish you well and say: “Th… th… th… that’s all folks!”


The Bring Out Your Dead Team

Tickets for ‘The Rats in the Walls & Other Tales’ can be booked at or by calling: 07555 117262
We do recommend booking in advance as our capacity is limited for this show!