Got anything planned for the next Friday 13th? It falls in February and if you're not off to Camp Crystal Lake to terrorise teenagers, why not head to Blackpool for the festival of circus and magic that is Showzam ? And while you're there, go check out Carnesky's Ghost Train .
Showzam is Blackpool's annual festival of magic and new variety performances which runs from 13-22 February 2009 this year. At the heart of it is a creepy dark ride: Carnesky's Ghost Train is a 10 minute show across a series of darkened chambers, where live performances are enacted by a cast of women skilled in circus and dance. The show loosely follows the story of a mother searching for her daughters on a war-time night-train. The audience rides in carriages that hurtle through a maze of tunnels at differing speeds. Sounds like fun.
Carnesky's Ghost Train is the brainchild of award-winning performer Marisa Carnesky, with illusions designed by Paul Kieve (a stage illusionist responsible for the magic in the first Harry Potter film). Tickets cost £3-£5. Blackpool was the first place in the UK to ever house a ghost train (opened at Blackpool Pleasure Beach early in the 20th century) so it's a fitting place for the new horror-themed moving magic show.
Other Showzam highlights will include one of the last surviving sword swallowers in the world, an insight into the life of Omi (a showman from the 1920s who covered his body with tattoos), and international cabaret acts. Marisa Carnesky says, "Blackpool has a history that's bursting with entertaining sideshows which have universal appeal. Showzam puts everything together from Blackpool's past guaranteeing a festival that's fun and accessible to people of all ages."