The Gothic Experience
Gothic is a larp about five poets trapped in an erotic, psychological horror story, created by their own imaginations. This larp draws inspiration from Ken Russell’s Gothic (1986), a psychological horror film that is a fictionalised retelling of the Shelleys’ visit to Lord Byron in Villa Diodati.
Gothic is played by ten players at a time. Five players will play poets, and another five players – who have already played as the poets – now play as their servants. It is the story of one night of drugs and madness, which resulted in the creation of various horror stories including Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and John Polidori’s The Vampyre.
Playing as a poet
First you will play as one of the five poets. You will write poetry, drink, dance, fall deep into laudanum dreams and nightmares, summon the unquiet spirits of the dead, seduce and traduce and tread an uneasy path towards “despondency and madness” (Wordsworth, 1807.)
Playing as a servant
Then you will play the larp for a second time as the servant to the poet you played previously. The servants are reflections of — or reactions to — the poets. You will create nightmares, leading the poets deep into the darkness and you will choose whether to play towards destruction or redemption.
Not an upstairs/downstairs experience
Playing a servant will not be an upstairs/downstairs experience. Richard Hoppner, the Venice Consul, described Byron as being “culpably lenient” with his staff and that “he rather bantered with them than spoke seriously to them.” There will be opportunities to calibrate with your poet to discuss and agree the limits of the servant role, and the experience you want to play.
Please read Is this larp for me? before you consider applying for the larp.
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For those of you who want or need to read more, we’ve included a lot of additional detail on this website.
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