Many residents encountered a ghostly experience in the neighbourhood this Halloween; The Club and MADS Theatre, came together for the first time, to bring a different kind of entertainment to the community. The three day Halloween Horror production was conceived by General Manager, Andrew Appleyard, and written by joint member David Wilkinson, who had this to say about the collaboration: “I wrote the script around some historical facts, naturally with fellow MADS’ actors in mind. The theatre had been completely dark for 8 months; so the management of MADS was quick to welcome the opportunity to get back on the stage, so to speak.”

The Horror, cast in all its scariness!

The horror experience took a tour of Priory Park’s 34 acres with actors playing spooky roles while ghouls and ghosts sprang from the hollows, trees and bushes to scare-the-pants-off the paying public.

Richard Shute, the MADS producer said: “I know that the sixteen or so MADS members, as well as three Fallibroome School students and the members of MRUFC, who were all involved in the Priory Park Horror, had a lot of fun scaring the life out of people. On behalf of MADS, I would particularly like to thank Andy Appleyard and David Wilkinson for conceiving the idea, getting it all organised and run so smoothly, and for asking MADS to be a part of it.” Shute went on to add that he hoped ‘The Horror’ would become an annual outdoor theatre event.  “Who knows,” he said, “perhaps we can do other Promenade Theatre events, at other times of the year around Macclesfield.”

Andy Appleyard, said that the feed-back had been excellent, adding: “Working with MADS has been great; they were able to bring our idea to life with a professional performance, each night, also hosting some talented students from Fallibroome school. We are now looking forward to planning future projects that will bring entertainment to the community and benefit both Priory Park and MADS Theatre.

Chairman, Stephen Branch, who joined in the ghoulish action on the first night, had this to say: “Lots of tricks made for a real treat at the Club.” The Priory Park Horror now has to be a regular fixture in the rugby Club social calendar! Over three nights the ghouls and ghosts of the old Priory, who had been horribly persecuted by Henry the eighth, walked the grounds of the old abbey haunting all those who dared to trespass on the land.”

“This event surpassed all expectations! What a great idea and brilliantly delivered by Andy Appleyard, David Wilkinson and the Actors from MADS. The feedback from those who walked the course across all ages has been terrific. Kirsty and the bar team ensured that refreshments were served according to the guidelines including the ‘Headless’ ale on tap from the new SIN BIN bar. The event was a first for the Rugby Club and for MADS and was a sell out on the Friday. We will have to wait until Halloween 2021 for the ghosts and ghouls to return, I, for one, can’t wait.”

The Priory Park team at the rugby club were delighted with just how well the event had gone; the atmosphere had been electric with spooky background sounds and constant real-live screams adding to the icy, chill-factor of the event. Many stayed on to settle their nerves with a welcome drink at the new outdoor covered SIN BIN bar, telling tales of their terrifying encounters with the ghouls and ghosts; but apparently no one ordered one of the Axe-man’s Bloody Mary’s – the mind boggles!


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