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Ghostly secrets of the Old Red Lion revealed in Last Orders

Last Orders

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

SINCE 1415, the Old Red Lion has welcomed countless visitors through its doors. And some never left. So, on July 29, new company The Knock Knock Club stayed overnight, turned on their cameras, pointed their microphones into the dark and asked “who’s there?”

In Last Orders, which runs from October 8 to October 26, 2019, they will present their findings – from the uncanny to the unnatural to the unexplainable – as more than 600 years of history clamours to be heard.

A pub called The Old Red Lion has stood on the same spot in Angel since 1414, and The Knock Knock Club have done extensive research into its history at The British Library newspaper archives, using local papers such as The Islington Gazette.

The pub has seen highwaymen drinking their last pints before being executed at a crossroads, children of the school next door coming in with their daily beer tokens, and Lenin evading police by hiding in a dumb waiter.

It is not just the history the company want to know about, but the ghosts that live on insides it walls. They have interviewed the staff, past and present, and they haven’t met one yet that hasn’t had an unexplainable experience. They say there is a ghost on each floor: the cellar, the pub and the theatre, so as well as the over night ghost hunt with Laura Goff from Twilight Ghost Hunts, they will also hold a séance at the theatre on August 29, to further investigate these claims.

The Knock Knock Club (Reece Connolly, Caroline Buckley and Christopher Keegan) are a new company who make the venue they are performing in the star of the show, specifically venues which are reportedly haunted. Researching their history and folklore, they create terrifying and true theatre.

Reece Connolly has been a playwright and theatre-maker of over five years, most recently with Offie-nominated, five star Chutney at The Bunker, produced by Flux Theatre. Caroline Buckley is a writer and producer and she runs Plays Rough London as a platform for new, experimental writing in a safe and supportive space. Christopher Keegan has worked as a professional actor for ten years performing with many companies including West Yorkshire Playhouse, Bath Theatre Royal, The Glasgow Citizens theatre, Bristol Old Vic, Shakespeares Globe, Warner Brothers and more.

Tickets: £14, £12 previews. To book, visit www.theknockknockclub.co.uk/.

Times: Tuesday to Sunday at 7.45pm; Saturday and Sunday matinees (and Thursday Oct 17) at 2.30pm.

Also at the Old Red Lion Theatre: taught new thriller Skin in the Game (August 20 to September 15, 2019).