An Interview with Shock Horror’s Writer Ryan Simons

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Performing first on the 27th of September at Churchill Theatre and then onto a National tour of 7 other venues, Ryan Simons’ multimedia Shock Horror is expected to keep theatregoers entertained. We sat down with Ryan to get the scoop on all things horror…

Hi Ryan, what pulls you into the world of horror writing & production? Has it been a lifelong interest?

Fear pulled me into horror writing and production. Being scared as a child, the brink of Armageddon in modern society, the extremes of personality we all sit next to on the bus. I’ve always loved horror, it’s a broad church that welcomes anyone who’s scared… and we’re all scared of something.

The production is billed with ‘The Must-see Ghost Story’; could you tell us about some other shows/ books/ performances that you feel have mastered the ghost genre?

The Woman in Black is the stage show that inspired our producer, Alex Moran, to commission me to write Shock Horror. The Shining is a terrifying book. The ghosts that visit in Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist are the perfect nightmare. They’re all a masterclass in horror and they have all influenced our show.

Ryan Simons

Shock Horror is a unique theatre/ film hybrid; what stimulated this decision? What were the advantages and potential challenges?

Almost everyone’s had some connection to horror cinema but not so many have experienced horror theatre. We wanted a show that tapped into both. You don’t have to be a horror fan to enjoy our show, you just have to love a good story. Our big screen is used as a memory space, we can call upon a cast of characters to show a nightmare in the blink of an eye, the challenge was making the flow between stage and screen feel seamless.

What is the inspiration behind the cinema-dwelling character, Herbert?

Our childhoods. We didn’t experience the horror Herbert encounters but the fear of being alone in the dark inspired us and the nightmare of parents who welcome in ghosts created a complex character who you can’t take your eyes off.

Shock Horror

Last year’s sold-out tour delighted theatre-goers. What does horror, and the iconic jump-scare moment mean in 2023?

Last year was brilliant. This year we have a bigger set, bigger screen, bigger sound… bigger scares!! The jump scare is great fun and the tense build-up to it is even better!


Click here to book the first showing at Churchill Theatre, Bromley which runs from Wed 27 - Sat 30 Sep 2023.

See Shock Horror's full UK tour here