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The London Horror Festival and Danse Macabre Productions are teaming up once more to host the

LHF Playwriting Competition 2021!


As part of the LHF’s continual commitment to championing new writing,

this year we’re looking for 30 minute horror plays under the theme

‘Your Worst Nightmare’.


Three plays will be shortlisted and then performed as part of the festival in front of a panel of industry professionals who will announce the winner live and officially launch the London Horror Festival 2021!


We want to see your worst nightmares brought to the stage.

We want to scream, to laugh, to cry and probably scream again.

We want scripts that celebrate horror, that celebrate theatre and, most of all, that celebrate the point where the two of them meet.


All scripts will be read by our carefully selected panel of readers and three will be shortlisted. The shortlisted scripts will receive a rehearsed reading on the opening night of the London Horror Festival in front of a panel of judges who will choose the winning script.

When sending us a play please make sure to include the following details:

  • Your name.

  • A contact telephone number.

  • Your email address.

  • Your agent’s details (if applicable).

  • Whether you will be able to attend the rehearsed reading at 8pm on Monday 18th October 2021 at The Pleasance, Islington should your play be shortlisted. 

  • The script in .pdf format. Word documents are also accepted but your script will not be read if it is not in one of these two formats.

  • A title page and page numbers in the script.

  • Where you heard about the competition.


Please also note:

  • Unfortunately we’re not able to accept plays from writers based outside of the UK.

  • We only accept submissions via email to

  • We do not accept scripts written for television, film or radio, treatments or incomplete works, long plays over 30 minutes duration, musicals, or plays not in the English Language.

  • We cannot accept more than two examples of a writer’s work.

  • New drafts and/or amendments cannot be accepted once the literary team is considering a play.

  • We’re looking for new plays. We can’t accept scripts that have already been produced.

DEADline: Tuesday 31st August 2021 at the stroke of MIDNIGHT
Entries received after this time will not be considered.

The three finalists will be announced on 30th September.

About Danse Macabre:

Danse Macabre Productions is a theatre company working to earn horror its rightful place on stages big and small. They kickstarted with Fear Itself in 2018, a one-woman immersive horror at the Edinburgh Fringe and the London and Brighton Horror Festivals. In 2019, they staged Nancy Netherwood’s dystopian horror Goodnight, Mr Spindrift at the Old Red Lion followed by Clown, a devised physical horror-comedy in London, Brighton and at the Loco Klub in Bristol. In 2020, they hosted Ghost in the Machine, an online writer’s night of six short horrors and performed Host by Sam Essame live via Zoom ‘at’ The Space.


Danse Macabre is currently running Fearless, a free script reading service that provides feedback for horror plays.


"Danse Macabre could lead the way in a new age of live horror that darkens our very own doors." 

- A Younger Theatre


"Host combines theatrical intimacy with the capabilities of the modern technology we’ve all grown accustomed to of late. The result is a slow-burn horror, as intelligent as it is chilling." 

- The Upcoming






In 2019 Danse Macabre collaborated with the LHF to present the

'Queer Horror' Playwriting Competition to promote the representation of

LGBTQIA+ writers and characters within the genre.

Those who submitted work had to either be a playwright who identifies as LGBTQIA+ or have a protagonist or multiple leading characters who identify as LGBTQIA+.

The winning play was Grey Widow by Lady Aria Grey,

which will be performed at the London Horror Festival 2021.


About Lady Aria Grey:

Lady Aria Grey is an award-winning writer, drag queen, and comedienne. She writes scripts, plays, short erotic stories, and standup comedy, and is willing to write and/or perform any or all of those in exchange for money or eternal youth. Her hobbies include wine, marriage, vampirism, and wine.


"It was so delicious being part of the London Horror Festival - I've never been to a festival quite like it. Everyone was so lovely and welcoming, and yet the things they were putting on stage were so horrifying and soul-squelching. Such a beautiful juxtaposition. I laughed, I cried and most importantly, I screamed!"

Grey Widow was first performed as a rehearsed reading directed by Danse Macabre Productions on the 25th October 2019 at The Pleasance, Islington.


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