By: Sariah Lake
‘Standing On A Nail: A Queer Horror Story’, Noah Pantano’s Essex debut, is officially in full swing of preparations. The play is set to debut on February 23rd, 2023, at 7:30 pm at the Lakeside theatre on campus, and ticket sales are now open! You can buy tickets up until two hours before the play online. Tickets can be purchased at the door, but it is recommended (and cheaper) to buy in advance.
Advance Prices – £6 UoE Students/£10 Concession/£15 Full.
On the Door Prices – £8 UoE Students/£12 Concessions/£16 Full
SOAN sets out to bridge a gap between queer theatre and the horror genre by exploring sexuality and queer trauma in the 1980s. The plot follows, Warren, Hugh, Owen, Anastasia, and Giles, five gay men trapped in a bar with a supernatural threat. The group navigates the complexities of their dilemma and their own interpersonal conflicts throughout the harrowing night. Auditions took place on the 4th of January and Pantano has compiled his official cast. A.J. Colley as Warren, Aaron Burke as Hugh, Joe Eason as Owen, Jake Halimi as Anastasia, and Eden Camara as Giles.
The characters are a compelling bunch, with their dynamics and personal stories all being explored throughout the play.
Warren, described as reserved, is a direct contrast to his free, open husband, Hugh. The couple are regulars at the bar, the scene of the story, and navigate the ups and downs of their relationship, trying to find freedom and openness as a gay couple in the 80s.
Owen is the owner of the bar, who is struggling to reconcile the future of his relationship with his boyfriend.
The eccentric, entertaining Anastasia is an “angry drag queen with a heart of gold” according to actor, Jake Halimi. Director, Noah Pantano, describes the character as bold and “bitchy”, eager to etch her legacy.
Giles, the “baby of the group” as his actor Eden describes him is a young bartender. Giles is written to be outgoing and flirtatious, but he’s not as naïve as his age implies.
The actors are eager for the big night, driven by nerves and anticipation for their performance. Each are connected to their characters and believes their relatability will touch the audience. The piece is written to be conversation-starting, and the actors are committed to just that. You can keep up with the cast and director @soanqueerhorror on Instagram and ask them questions following the show in a Q&A.
Pantano describes this preparation process as intensive, but he is not alone. He works alongside the production manager, Mariah Konstance Atsev, who is his primary support throughout the process. Mariah has always had an interest in theatre and believes ‘Standing On A Nail’ will intrigue the audience with interesting themes and perspective-changing concepts.
Be sure to support University talent and check out ‘Standing on a Nail: a Queer Horror Story’!