Thrills ‘n’ kills in terror tunnel

The Resurrection cast have the talent to both inform and terrify guests brave enough to enter Falkirk Tunnel. Picture: Michael Gillen
The Resurrection cast have the talent to both inform and terrify guests brave enough to enter Falkirk Tunnel. Picture: Michael Gillen

The Union Canal does not spring to mind when you think of 19th Century grave robbing and murdering double act Burke and Hare.

However, anyone who experiences the chills and thrills of Canal Theatre: The Resurrection, which takes place in Falkirk’s 200-year-old 630-metre-long Union Canal tunnel, will have difficulty getting Ireland’s two most infamous workmen, who actually worked on the canals, out of their head.

The combined brainchild of Scottish Canals and Walking Theatre Company, The Resurrection tells the gory tale of Burke and Hare, the duo who lured victims to stay in the Hare guesthouse in Edinburgh so they could murder them and then sell their corpses to be used for medical experimentation.

A Scottish Canals spokesperson said: “This dark tour comes with a warning – it might be the change in temperature, the perpetual darkness or the sound of whispering across the water, but something unnatural lurks in the shadows of the tunnel – and in the hearts of your guides.

“It will surely be an evening to remember.”

Walking Theatre cast members, four of the 48 thespians in the company, Hazel Ann Crawford, Giga Gray, John Michael Love and James Barrie, play victims and murderers and interact with guests to drive the informative and spooky narrative along.

Sadie Dixon-Spain, Walking Theatre Company founder and playwright, said: “Walking Theatre uses the environment around us as a stage, so Scottish Canals brought me to the tunnel and asked me what I thought I could do.

“It’s a location which works really well, with great acoustics that add to the story. I tried to bring a bit of humour into it because it is quite a horrific subject. I also included something of the history of the canals as well.

“The aim is to hopefully get more people coming back to visit the canal and the tunnel.”

The Falkirk Herald got a sneak preview of The Resurrection performance yesterday (Wednesday) and was not disappointed.

Steve Dunlop, Scottish Canals chief executive, said: “The Falkirk Tunnel is one of the most atmospheric and eerie sites on Scotland’s canals and we’re delighted to be able to bring one of its many stories to life with this unique pop-up theatre production in the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.”

Visit www.canaltheatre.co.uk for details about show times and more.