*Note that The Scruffy Bunny theatre is now in its Fringe Fest special location: Courtenay Creative, 49 Courtenay Place, Wellington.
“We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.” - H. P. Lovecraft
In 1925 young fantasy writer Howie Lovecraft fled his Rhode Island home, tormented by the failure of his marriage and other personal demons. No one was sure where he vanished to for six long months, but once returned all agree he wrote stories that were richer and darker than anything he had ever written before.
Why? Well, we now know that he took a tramp steamer to the farthest reaches of the Southern oceans, and spent those lost months travelling the length and breadth of New Zealand. He spoke to farmers and fisherfolk, and former nurses at long-closed special hospitals. Most significantly though he attended lectures at Wellington's Masseytonic University, and interviewed members of the faculty in exhaustive detail.
He gathered dark tales of twisted deeds and unnatural monsters, and learnt truths that no man may learn without descending into madness. This research was woven into the warp and the weft of tales he wrote and rewrote until his untimely death in 1937, albeit with many of the place names and historical events transposed to more American locations at his publisher’s request.
Long forgotten in a dusty attic, a leather-bound trunk of Lovecraft’s original heavily annotated notes mouldered, until unverified rumours of the trove’s possible existence reached the ears of researchers from Masseytonick University. Thanks to their hard work, some at the expense of their very souls, a selection of these unheard tales will be retold as part of the 2019 Fringe Festival.
Lovecrafted! will be improvised on stage by direct descendants of those interviewed by that nervous young American. By an amazing coincidence all are members of the Wellington Improvisation Troupe.
Tickets available as Door sales, or through the Fringe website, $10 or $7 concession/with a Fringe Addict pass.