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M.R. James’ classic horror tale comes to life in Box Tale Soup’s Casting the Runes

Box Tale Soup are to take their puppet-based literary adaptation of M.R. James’ Casting the Runes on the road.

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With puppets, set and props made using recycled materials, the two-hander pays homage to a writer considered the grandfather of British horror .

Carefully crafted with tense original music, bespoke puppets, and a shape-shifting set, it follows the increasingly sinister haunting of an academic after he’s given some mysterious runes.

Following a hugely successful run at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023, the show is touring from 21 September – 25 November 2023.

Expert on the so-called supernatural, Edward Dunning, is a scholar and a sceptic. But when he crosses paths with the mysterious Mr. Karswell, his life becomes a waking nightmare.

Haunted by something sinister at every turn, he must uncover the secret of the mysterious runes handed to him by Karswell, before his time runs out and the dark presence at his heels finally catches up with him…

The production is directed by Adam Lenson and written, designed and performed by Noel Byrne and Antonia Christophers with music Dan Melrose.

For more information, tour dates and venues, visit boxtalesoup.co.uk

Writer Noel Byrne said “Puppets have a natural magic and sense of otherworldliness. They can be charming of course, but they can also be unnerving and strange – often what we imagine is worse than what we see. This works to our advantage in Casting the Runes, a fantastic example of M.R. James’ skill in building tension and dread, creating an incredible atmosphere.

“It’s a rollercoaster of a story, slowly ratcheting up and up until the inevitable final descent. We’ve just finished an amazing run at the Edinburgh Fringe, with sell-out crowds and wonderful reviews, so we can’t wait to get the show out on tour and share it with audiences around the country!”

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About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.