On the 18th of March, on its final night of operation, we drove out to the unsuspecting Dearne Playhouse in Rotherham, to visit GNG’s latest effort – Scarytales, a scare attraction maze (with all profits kindly going to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance!) themed on both well known and unorthodox children’s fairy tales and nursery rhymes. Needless to say I left feeling thoroughly shook up and awestruck by the horrifying fantastical world we had just travelled through!
This was by far the most lavish production of GNG Entertainment’s so far, and although this couldn’t be nearly as disturbing as their previous scare attraction Bunker 13 - Over 18’s Event, I was equally as impressed by it. Despite this being a charity event, the costumes, characters, sets and make up were outstanding; especially the Mad Hatter’s half skull face make up, which I heard many visitors commenting on afterwards in the bar.
Through the wardrobe entrance to the land of Orenda and onwards, the sets were extensive, well thought out, and varied in themes – sections from the mad hatter’s glow in the dark insane tea party, to a horrifying multi-coloured life sized jack in the box toy room, to the sinister child catcher’s lair - missing children posters covering the walls and all! - were included. The layout guided customers through a dark and twisted journey through many of the rooms in the playhouse, including both backstage & atop the stage! Also I was fascinated to see the incorporation of the lesser known fairytale, the Red Shoes, in a set with a ghostly woman emerging from under a table with bloodied feet, grasping at the legs of passers-by!
All of the actors did an excellent job; a feature I like about GNG Entertainment’s attractions is how actors improvise from their given dialogues as they deem fit. Many of the actors were very lively, very interactive and incorporated us into their acts in both quite playful and intimidating ways. I for one never knew lollipops could be so threatening! The only part I perhaps did not like was the Little Red Riding Hood section of the attraction – while it certainly played its part in being shocking, I do feel it was a bit inappropriate to have to experience if you were visiting with family.
Overall however, ignoring that, I am not surprised to once again have come away from another great and imaginative experience at GNG’s attractions, and I return to looking forward to their future efforts. Yet another outstanding attraction, from a consistently innovative and brilliant scare company!
Reviewed by Abigail Lewis.