It is the night before Halloween. We are led, individually, to a chair in the candlelit setting of the Asylum Chapel, an early nineteenth century ruin lost in Southwark. Sonorous music sets the scene amid the splendid decay of the building. There are 11 of us and within minutes we are seated in an arc and a thousand miles away from the bustle of the nearby Commercial Way. In the darkened space, a bell rings and our host, the charismatic magician Christopher Howell, welcomes us – slightly oddly – as members of an unnamed and unpurposed committee. Smiling in the darkness, he begins a monologue about his childhood…
It would ruin the surprises to say too much more about the substance of Séance: Conversations in the Dark. Suffice to say that the show is an evening of wonder rather than horror – Howell is a magician and that is your only clue to how the evening proceeds. We are transported first to Michigan and then to nearby Nunhead Cemetery. Howell is a competent actor also and his monologues are delicately punctuated by carefully judged pauses as he surveils the darker corners of the space. Is there anybody there?
Séance is subtly directed by Scott Le Crass and while, mercifully, there aren’t any cheap jump scares there are some deliciously creepy moments. Howell knows his history of spiritualism and anyone with knowledge of the Fox Sisters may anticipate some of the mysteries on display.
Nevertheless, as with any show based on the supernatural, you will get out of it what you put into it and if you go with the flow Séance provides an atmospheric hour of stories about night horrors, poltergeists… and revenants.
Review by Louis Mazzini
Nightmares and phantom legends form the backdrop of this new interactive séance show presented in one of London’s most haunting venues. The participants in each audience invite the spirits into the space to share their wisdom, exorcise their demons or complete their unfinished business. The only thing for sure is that anything could happen.
Driven by memories of night terrors as a boy, Christopher Howell’s show takes a haunting look at what lures us to séances. As we flirt with the supernatural, do we seek comfort in reaching out to loved ones who have passed? Or do we crave the raw fear of a ghostly encounter?
1 November 2019
Séance 1 – starts 19:30
Séance 2 – starts 21:30
Learn more about Christopher at