The following is a working script written, produced & directed by Mimi Rankin Webb for the Gas Light Players signature terror-show (Dr. Blood-style) haunted attraction currently known as "Gentleman Death's Shocktale Show." This style of production is presented in progressive black-box theater with a guide leading a group of approximately 10-13 patrons through a pitch-black maze of rooms in which a scene per room is performed. This style integrates all of the lights, sound & theatrics of the regular theater with the horror genre of today and is unique only to Gas Light Players who have held the tradition since 1975. The artist has been working within this particular style since 1989 and continues the tradition today, using it to include those not typically participating within the arts- families and people living with special needs and upper school aged kids in all aspects of the production process along with area artists to lead them as well as using the finished product as a means to engage those not typically exposed to the arts which has proven successful over the years in reaching areas of the population not typically reached by the arts.
IMAGINARIUM OF THE IMMORTALS
Madame Moira, Mystic
Safety Speech: “Madame Moira, Mystic will see you now”
(They lead tour into the guide-speech room, positioning them opposite the fortune teller’s tent. Sound cue is hit as they exit the front hallway.)
The crystal ball illuminates and reveals Moira the Gypsy as she begins to move, speaking their fortune:
Moira: Your cards are cast, your future firm
The Dead shall rise, the wheel will turn.
Your fate, DEATH, comes, sword in hand
To curse immortality across this land.
Heed my warning, listen well… (Icky decapitation noises are heard)
(Cue line across this land: D’ablo storms thru the curtain straight to Gypsy, grabs her by the headdress with one hand & uses weapon to savagely decapitate her. He eyeballs her head locking eyes with her, then they both turn & eyeball the tour, pregnant pause, then lunge, head, dagger & all towards the tour into blackout.)
Guide enters as D’ablo exits in the blackout essentially taking his place directly in front of the tour
Guide: Welcome to Gentleman Death’s Shocktale! I invite you to join me, ____________________, as we torture, terrify and traumatize you with our exotic exhibitions of evil.
‘Tis been but one year since Gentleman Death usurped his brother as Ringmaster extraordinaire of THE most infamous world renowned Cirque Du Morte.
Together with his creator the Immortal Artist, Gentleman Death has created new diabolical displays of the deranged to fill his evisceral Imaginarium of the Immortals.
We shall soon witness these grisly grotesqueries of grandeur. All things mystical, magical, phantasmagorical await us within the Imaginarium of the Immortals!
But before we proceed any further, I suggest you recall that no smoking or flames are allowed. No lights of any kind, except mine. Above all else, you must remember, TO TOUCH NOTHING! For only then has it the right to touch you back.
One final warning, you must listen to me, and ONLY ME, and obey my every command at all times.
For your own safety, stay together with the rest of your tour. If you do become separated from your tour, sit down and scream, as loudly as your lungs will allow, someone or something is sure to find you.
Remember within these walls, I am your only friend. Only I have a light, only I know the way. Your only hope is to trust me, for only I can help you survive what lies ahead.
A coffin overshadowed literally by the angel of death with outspread wings is on display along with carnival artifacts as an offering to the dead.
Guide: Here, D’arte, beloved daughter of Moira the Mystic, lies in eternal sleep. Her downfall? Supposed skin of steel and an obsession for the nefarious knife thrower, D’ablo the Deranged.
(Cue “Downfall” D’ablo enters, takes up a sword, shoving it violently into the coffin. Confrontational, guide rushes to Diablo to struggle with him over it)
Guide: How DARE you defile the dead, D’ablo? “
(D’ablo puts his forehead to the guides and whispers his farce which the guide translates)
Guide: You did WHAT? A pact with Gentleman Death for D’arte to live FOREVER? What have you done? The INSULT, The ABOMINATION!
(Cue “WHAT” D’arte pushes sword back up thru coffin. It hovers for a split second then falls as she rushes up out of the coffin tossing the lid into the back wall. She grabs Diablo, slits his throat, forcing him downward as she turns her head maniacally to the guide (“What is this? It can’t be!” etc) guide bolts across the room using tour as “shield” to escape, pushing them towards exit as D’arte turns on tour, then makes her jump into blackout. If need be, Diablo can come to life and crawl across the floor towards them using his own light for effect to push them out of the room. (If there is an inflatable available, it is in the first huge twister exiting from this room-guide will take 1rst trapdoor to set it off as it inflates on the people in the maze in the dark-no mention made on guide’s part of it)
Guide: What abomination is this? This barbarically bludgeoned barker is no more!
(Investigates torn body pieces or what is left of a man within the menagerie)
Guide: These brutal barbaric beasts of burden have torn him to pieces within this morbid menagerie of the macabre!
(Monkey slams out of cage on cue “Menagerie.” Guide warns tour)
Guide: Stay back my friends! (Brings finger to lips to ssshh them) Quiet!” He brings up the light in the room as he talks to the unseen higher being as the body on the floor suddenly slides beneath the cages before their eyes, guide jumps back from it.)
Guide: What sort of disgusting, depraved deviant would transform innocent animals into such disgusting denizens of the deranged? (Seeing the actual before their eyes, he shakes his head in disgust) Gentleman Death’s Hounds of Hell! The Hellhounds are loose! This way!
(Hellhound rises on “What” dropping the chain from above. It descends down ramp to wall loudly, searching, stalking to find breech in cage to finally jump at tour off of ramp into blackout.)
Inside the Tent
Guide: Ah, finally, something to soothe our sullied psyche: The Cacophony of Calliope!!!
(Guide begins to turn crank enjoying it a bit TOO much. As the music starts, the monkey exits the box with a bang, taking his place on top with another bang)
Guide: Behold: Berthold the Brute! Once an organ grinder himself, Berthold barbarically bludgeoned his churlish chimp for failure to fetch a farthing.
(Tosses large tin cup at the Monkey who takes it & begins to beg tips from the tour at uncomfortably close range, then returns empty handed with a shrug to jump up on his box.)
Guide: This angered the Artist who banished Berthold to live as you see him now, ladies & gentleman, forever a slave to his muse for all eternity.
(Guide begins to beat the chimp on cue “Angered” which causes monkey to go back out & get too close to the tour for comfort. He then turns on guide for his beating as guide, tossing him against the box seemingly dead before rushing tour. Guide makes a last attempt at saving the tour only to be attacked at the last minute dragged from the hallway by Berthold. Guide then takes shortcut to the next room to beat tour in time to be tapping his watch.)
Sword Swallowing Serpent of Siam
As tour enters room, guide is standing before them unharmed. He positions them as the sword swallower does her swallowing routine ONCE. She turns in a dance macabre as the music changes from calliope to snake charmer, setting down her sword to lock eyes with the guide who introduces her as if in a trance. Guide allows themselves to be forced backward into a cage, parting the tour in the middle where they are locked in by the sword swallower.
Guide: Meet the Beautiful Eone Blanche’: THE world’s most amazing Sword Swallowing Serpent of Siam! Ladies& Gentleman, she is THE MOST spectacular, spine-tingling Sword swallower, a pinnacle of petrification: THE most AMAZING Celestial Snake charmer of venomous vipers AND OF VILLIANS & VOYEURS!
(Eone hisses last part with Guide. On “Amazing” she locks eyes with guide and visually pushes him back into the corner, locking the Guide into the cage)
Guide: (bargaining with the devil literally) Leave them be, it’s me you want! Let me OUT! Whatever you do, ladies & gentleman do NOT look her in the eye!
She returns to stage & begins swaying to music as if to swallow another round, but instead takes aim at tour as she selects “victim” taking aim, Guide breaks free slamming against the gate repeatedly. The cage gives, hitting the wall as guide runs thru tour to shield them from the sword, taking the blow himself. As he dies, he sends tour into the cage to reveal the exit.
Games Along the Midway
(Barker picks up tour in hallway beckoning into Midway)
Barker: Hurry, hurry, hurry! Step right up, ladies & gentleman! It's Showtime, if you're in line, you're in time!
Step right up, ladies & gent’s and try your hand (tries to hand fake hand to first person, shrugs & tosses it into the apple basket, leading them closer to the next game & into the actual maze of the midway) Choose a duck, a lucky duck-you know what they say, a bird in the hand is worth…(turns over to reveal bloody goo & 666) ugh never mind! (Continues leading the tour, beckoning, bargaining with them to play his games)
Hey, buddy, win the little lady a great big bear, just three in the basket, here, you can try it free! (Barker gestures to dart board as balloons mysteriously pop) Jumpy aren’t we? Let’s just skip that one… (Once the arrive at the open part of the midway nearly to Vyazarn's wheel, he stops, stands his mark & takes a more serious & forceful tone)
Welcome to the Midway, where things are NEVER as they seem, they’re worse…much much worse! Watch out! The price of glory is your soul and there are NO REFUNDS! "
(Blackout suddenly on REFUNDS as pickup guide replaces barker who retreats to safety of his coffin)
Guide takes over, pops up on them with his light in the darkness, pulling them into position within the room itself and doesn't speak UNTIL they are all repositioned before Vyazarn's wheel & then? he chastizes them for not following instructions.
Guide: WHAT ARE YOU DOING? Was it not made clear that you were to TOUCH NOTHING? Who goaded you into such garish gaming? The Barker? (When he gets patron confirmation he jumps on them verbally) We’ve no Barker here; he’s been dead for YEARS! (Noticing game)
AHHH Lookie, lookie what I’ve found! Little lady what would you like to know about your future? Step right up, and spin the wheel of life! Go ahead, it’s absolutely free! But watch out, the price of glory is your soul and there are NO REFUNDS! "
(“Refunds” is cue for Barker to burst out of his coffin into a blackout. Guide does his typical popup in the dark then leads them off into the Imaginarium)
Inside the Imaginarium
Guide: Behold: the world’s greatest gathering of human curiosities: Gentleman Death’s Imaginarium of the Immortals! (Leads them into what appears to be a barn full of cages on both sides, specimens line one wall, a Geek lurks in the other)
Whatever you do, ladies & gentleman, do NOT laugh at them, or let them see you shudder in their shame. Their code is a law unto themselves: Offend one, and you offend them all.
Observe the grotesque gimmick of the Geek: the very pinnacle of petrification. The gluttonous geek is a degenerate who would daringly devour your dog for a drink…of blood!"
(Geek takes notice immediately, grabbing at guide during opening “behold” then backing off to task-birdcage- on the “Observe” Geek is standing with back to tour at the window. As they stop in front of it for the spiel, geek turns, spewing goo at the gate, dropping a corpse of some sort before rushing madly at the gate repeatedly-he waits ‘til they pass & are focused on something else to begin to slink thru the exhibit following them to the end of the maze)
Guide: And now, folks, if you’ll just step this way, you are about to witness the most amazing, the most astonishing living monstrosity of all time.
Once the world’s most blissfully beautiful woman, Dysedera the Demented was known for her bohemian behavior of bathing in blood. (She she tries to lunge at the crowd from her restraints which have her chained inbetween 2 columns on display) Dysedera has discovered that madness is the price for beauty.
(Chain breaks/comes down on “His” and Dysedera rushes the tour & lunges into blackout) Light comes up on Geek who is standing at the end of the cage run opposite where Dysedera was o display. He drops body he has been feasting upon & charges out of end of cage, bursting out of the gate into the tour into a blackout.
Cavern of Carnage
Guide: And now, Ladies& Gentleman, I would like to draw your attention to an astounding, astonishing attraction, reserved for a select few…
Introducing Gentleman Death’s Master of Mayhem, Vyazarn the Vicious. Ladies& Gents, He is THE true missing link between man and the immortal. Here, within this cavern of carnage, Gentleman Death & His Immortal Artist created Vyazarn the Vicious to transform mere humans into immortals.
Vyazarn: The jilted Gypsy, the Organ Grinder, the grotesque Geek and Sword Swallower are now dead…but immortal none-the-less. They won’t grow old, become sick or die. They are beyond fear because I made them immortal! Prepare to be reborn: Nothing is permanent, not even death! WE are Gods and YOU WILL JOIN US!
(Vyazarn had been busy within this metallic cavern where several bodies are crucified around the tour as the lights come up. He speaks as if omnipotent, finally emerging with his dagger in a flash as he attacks the guide then turns to the tour itself and lunges, larger than life into their midst as they are plunged into darkness. The guide emerges mysteriously unscathed in the center of the tour where Vyazarn should have been but suddenly isn't. Guide rushes them out of the cavern & into what appears to be the exit hallway telling the lead patron to take the key and open the gate at the end of the passage which is barring their escape. On the standard cue line, Vyazarn re-appears beyond the gate with his weapon rushing them back down the hallway towards the guide & the true exit into the daylight beyond.)