True crime tours of Newcastle & theatrical performances
True crime tours and theatrical performances about Newcastle's history that are 100% true, but 100% unbelievable
And how did this come about?
Dark Stories came about as a desire to combine a number of passions into one complete killer package; we wanted to create something new; part of our background includes being performers in community theatre, true crime aficionados, history lovers and we thought we could create a unique walking tour package covering off the kind of stories that make up the cities past. A mix of performance, true crime, history and passion.
How long have you been running Dark Stories?
The tours have been running for 4 months but have really been in the works for over 12 months.
Are these tours suitable for all ages?
Countless hours of research has been done to cover off some dark periods and concepts in the city's history so it's not really recommended for children under the age of 12; that being said we let parents make the call as to what their offspring can handle. We've taken great care with how we crafted the telling of these events - of course we want to entertain people but we do want to be respectful of the way we bring the past back to life.
When did these crimes occur?
We try to cover the full range of human experience and cover crimes that occurred between the years 1830 to 1950. Each of our tours/stories is like a little trip back in time and we're really covering the history of the everyman/everywoman caught up in extraordinary circumstances. Their actions and reactions are completely recognisable to us, even if the environments they lived in were totally different. The events we cover were the biggest stories of the day yet do not form part of the official narrative history of the town. We like to call them the stories the city tried to forget. All of the material is 100% true and as we like to say 100% unbelievable.
Tell me a bit about the two services you provide, theatre and the private tours?
The True Crime tour is our main regularly recurring tour event in which we revisit the scenes of the crimes. However being actors and storytellers that like to delve into dark themes we are launching our debut theatrical show in late May titled Confessions of a Serial Killer. It's theatre with a difference in that there is no fourth wall and the audience forms part of the unfolding narrative. We have a talented group of actors in rehearsals right now yet audience decisions can change the course of the show. The audience does not act out any parts - simply the actors will perform scenes and lead audience interactions which may refer questions or ask the audience to solve problems that the characters are facing. Some outcomes will be changed by the audience. And as it's live theatre unusual things are bound to occur and delight.
We have lots of exciting things in the pipeline including the launch of a podcast in the next few months covering colonial era true crime episodes in the city's history.