Scarred for Life live comedy show comes to The Dukes in Lancaster

An evening that celebrates the terrifying popular culture of the 1970s and 1980s comes to Dukes Theatre in Lancaster today, Friday, (November 12).

Scarred For Life sees writers Stephen Brotherstone and Dave Lawrence taking to the stage to discuss the TV, films, music, comics, board games, books, adverts - and even sweets - that blighted their childhoods, so be prepared for a no-holds-barred examination of Worzel Gummidge, Doctor Who, Pipkins, Noseybonk, the Usborne Book of Ghosts, Horror Top Trumps, and Daleks Death Ray ice lollies!

It’s an evening inspired by their two hit books: Scarred For Life Volume One: The 1970s was published in 2017, with Volume Two: Television in the 1980s following in 2020.

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The books have now sold thousands of copies, even finding a fan in Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson.

“As an only child sitting permanently in front of a black and white TV, I absorbed a lifetime of scares in a few short years,” says Dave, “including

Tom Baker seemingly being drowned at the end of an episode of Doctor Who, and people being shrunk in an BBC2 showing of the old 1930s horror film The Devil Doll.

“My mum and dad’s easy-going attitude to what I watched absolutely scarred me for life... and I couldn’t be happier about it!

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“The terrifying opening titles to Shadows, an ITV supernatural series for kids, confirmed to my five-year-old self that the decade was going to be a tough one to get through,” adds Stephen. “And I was right! Violent comics, scary board games, bleak adult dramas and eerie kid’s shows all conspired to haunt my nightmares. And I wouldn’t have it any other way!

“And, as a 50-year-old, there’s still a Public Information Film about rabies that I can’t bear to watch...”

The evening is hosted by Fortean Times writer Bob Fischer, who will be gently prodding Stephen and Dave to relive their most traumatic childhood memories, as well as chipping in with a few of his own... including the sinister star of yet another traumatising Public Information Film: The Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water. And there’ll be a Q&A afterwards, for audience members to share their own memories of an era when children’s entertainment could be truly traumatising.

Other highlights include a Top of the Pops-style rundown of 1980s chart hits inspired by the prospect of impending nuclear armageddon, and Stephen’s pet theory that a vintage 1980s advert for British Pork has veiled undertones of cannibalism!

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“As soon as I read the book, I knew I’d found kindred spirits,” says Bob.

“I grew up being scared of even the gentlest TV shows. Things like Bagpuss and Rupert the Bear left me feeling decidedly uneasy! But what’s really strange is that so many of us now look back on our childhood fears with genuine fondness, and a sense of warm nostalgia.

“And that’s what the show tries to celebrate. I think of these evenings as a support group. We were all terrified by these childhood experiences, and now it’s time to share them... with a few laughs along the way.”

Tickets for the show can be booked here

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