Events

C.J. Carter-Stephenson is currently touring two shows featuring performed readings of his fiction. The aim is recreate the experience of watching one of the episodes of his popular Back of the Bookshelf podcast in a live setting. Through the use of immersive soundscapes and projected images, the landscape of his work is brought vividly to life. He performs in costume and incorporates atmospheric lighting where possible. The first show, Tales in the Key of Terror, is comprised of two horror stories, while in the second he presents an abridged version of his steampunk sci-fi novelette Skysteamer to Athens. Both are dramatic and fast-paced. Use the drop down menu below to find out more about these shows and other planned appearances. If you are interested in booking the author for an event, please don't hesitate to contact us.







Tales in the Key of Terror

As mentioned above, the Tales in the Key of Terror show sees C.J. Carter-Stephenson giving performed readings of two of his horror stories, supported by sound effects and an orchestrated backdrop of projected images. The stories were chosen because they lend themselves well to the production's format and because they are from different positions on the horror spectrum. Eerie and engaging, it's a show that takes you from the prairies and ramshackle towns of the Wild West to the dark depths of space.


Tales in the Key of Terror was premièred in May 2022 at the Horror Writers Association's ChillerCon UK event in Scarborough, though it has been slightly expanded since then. Check out the videos below for footage from the 2023 performances on the Isle of Wight and at the Watford Fringe Festival. Prepare to be scared.

Isle of Wight 2023 Highlights

Watford Fringe 2023 Highlights

'Tales in the Key of Terror' Story Header.

AND JUSTICE FOR ONE

A ghost story about a gambler in the old West who finds himself being haunted after he is involved in a gun fight in a saloon and accidentally shoots a child. This one is in the vein of writers like M.R. James and Edgar Allan Poe, focusing on tension and atmosphere, rather than gore. Originally published in 2005 in Volume 4 of Seasons in the Night.

DESTINATION EARTH

Sci-fi horror inspired by Guy de Maupassant's short story The Horla, and reminiscent of movies like Alien and Event Horizon. It is about an astro-investigator who is hired to find out why a mining ship hasn’t reached its destination. Needless to say, the investigation doesn't go smoothly. Originally published in 2007 in Issue 1 of The Literary Bone.

'Tales in the Key of Terror' Tour Header.

Upcoming Performances

Friday 3rd May 2024, 7.30pm
St. Mary's Church, 61 St James's Street, Brighton, East Sussex BN2 1PR (UK)
[MAP]
Performance at the Brighton Fringe Festival. Tickets on sale now at the festival website.

Saturday 1st June 2024, 7.00pm
Brighton Toy and Model Museum, 52-55 Trafalgar Street, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 4EB (UK)
[MAP]
Second performance at the Brighton Fringe Festival. Tickets on sale now at the festival website.

Saturday 22nd June 2024, 4.30pm
Lloyd Dowson Room, YMCA Yorkshire Coast, St. Thomas Street, Scarborough, North Yorkshire YO11 1DY (UK)
[MAP]
Performance at the Scarborough Fringe Festival. Tickets available soon from The Scarborough Fair.

Saturday 17th August 2024, 7.30pm
St. Paul's Church Hall, Camden Square, London NW1 9XG (UK)
[MAP]
Performance at the Camden Fringe Festival. Tickets on sale now at the festival website.

Past Performances

Friday 27th May 2022, 2.30pm
Wellington Lounge, The Royal Hotel, St Nicholas Street, Scarborough, North Yorkshire YO11 2HE (UK)
[MAP]
Première performance at the Horror Writers Association's ChillerCon UK event.

Saturday 3rd June 2023, 9.00pm
Chichester City Arts Centre, St Bartholomew’s Church, Mount Lane, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 3DQ (UK)
[MAP]
Performance at the Chichester Fringe Festival as part of a horror double bill with the play The Tragical Performance and Retelling of Doctor Faustus.

Friday 14th July 2023, 9.00pm
The Vale Vault, 2 High Street, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 1UX (UK)
[MAP]
Performance at the Tunbridge Wells Fringe Festival.

Saturday 2nd September 2023, 7.30pm
Northwood Village Hall, 364 Newport Road, Northwood, Cowes, Isle of Wight PO31 8PL (UK)
[MAP]
Standalone Isle of Wight event.

Saturday 23rd September 2023, 12.00pm - EXTRACT ONLY
Atria Shopping Centre, Watford, Hertfordshire WD17 2UB (UK)
[MAP]
Appearance with other Watford Fringe festival acts as part of a free preview event.

Friday 29th September 2023, 6.45pm
Colne River Studio, Pump House Theatre and Arts Centre, 5 Local Board Road, Watford, Hertfordshire WD17 2JP (UK)
[MAP]
Performance at the Watford Fringe Festival.

Saturday 21st October 2023, 11.30am
Faversham Guildhall, 12 Market Place, Faversham, Kent ME13 7AG (UK)
[MAP]
Performance at the Faversham Fringe Festival.

Skysteamer to Athens

In his Skysteamer to Athens show, C.J. Carter-Stephenson performs an abridged version of his novelette of the same name, transporting his audience back to a time when top hats and corsets were the height of fashion and the public had gone mad for all things steam. Packed full of fantastical technology, it's particularly targeted at people with an interest in the eccentric steampunk subgenre, though sci-fi fans in general should also find much to enjoy. As with Tales in the Key of Terror, the author uses sounds and images to create a lavish sensory experience which will hopefully live on in the memory long after the final word is spoken. The show was created in 2023. Cast off your mooring ropes and prepare to soar up into the clouds.


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Skysteamer to Athens is about a young woman who has a supernatural encounter while travelling to Athens on a luxury steam powered airship. It is set in a fictionalised version of Victorian Europe and features an engaging cast of human, automaton and spectral characters. Not surprisingly, the author cites Jules Verne and H.G. Wells as key influences in writing the piece, though it is very much its own entity. Fun and fast moving with more than a few twists and turns, it's perfectly suited to live performance. The novelette has only recently been completed, so hasn't yet been published, but received an honourable mention in the third quarter of the 2023 Writers of the Future contest.

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SKYSTEAMER TO ATHENS IS A NEW SHOW AND ARRANGMENTS FOR ITS PREMIÈRE ARE STILL BEING MADE. WATCH THIS SPACE FOR UPDATES.

Other Planned Appearances

There are no other planned appearances at this time. Watch this space for updates.

Photo Scrapbook

ChillerCon UK 2022 Picture.
ChillerCon UK 2022 Picture.
ChillerCon UK 2022 Picture.
ChillerCon UK 2022 Picture.
Chichester Fringe 2023 Picture.
TALES IN THE KEY OF TERROR Dress Rehearsal Picture.
Chichester Fringe 2023 Picture.
Chichester Fringe 2023 Picture.
Tunbridge Wells Fringe 2023 Picture - © Adam Dennis, happychipmunkphotos.
Isle of Wight 2023 Picture.
Isle of Wight 2023 Picture.
Isle of Wight 2023 Picture.
Watford Fringe 2023 Picture.
Watford Fringe 2023 Picture.
Watford Fringe 2023 Picture.
Watford Fringe 2023 Picture.
Watford Fringe 2023 Picture.
Watford Fringe 2023 Picture.
Faversham Fringe 2023 Picture.
Faversham Fringe 2023 Picture.
Faversham Fringe 2023 Picture.
Faversham Fringe 2023 Picture.
Faversham Fringe 2023 Picture.