• Dagenham Docks, London, UK, Jan 2004
  • Coventry University, Coventry, UK, Jan–Feb 2004
  • Albert Square, Manchester, UK, Mar 2004
  • The Old Truman Brewery, London, UK, Jun 2004
  • The BRIT Awards, London, UK, Feb 2005
  • Zomer van Antwerpen, Antwerp, Belgium, May 2005
  • Glastonbury Festival, UK, Jun 2005
  • Winter Gardens, Blackpool, UK, Jan 2006–Dec 2008
  • Golden Mile, Blackpool, UK, Jan 2009–Dec 2014

The seminal standalone work that is Carnesky’s Ghost Train haunted the borders of art and entertainment for ten years, occupying a unique space that blended artful theatrical installation with a stunning, magical fairground ride. This work saw the birth of Marisa’s company Carnesky Productions along with a methodology that encouraged collaborations between practitioners with diverse skill sets – both emergent and established. Included in this was a performer Marisa met at a filmmaking workshop called Paloma Faith and the illusionist Paul Kieve who had just finished creating the illusions for ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’.

Carnesky’s Ghost Train spent 2004-2009 touring the UK and Europe. Incorporating high-end illusions, aerial flying, moving performance sets, a cast of eight and 50 metres of specially-built track, it was an expensive show to tour. “It was like touring with your own theatre venue and company and would take a week to erect each time” says Marisa Carnesky. Blackpool Council’s suggestion in 2009 that they could to take on the art piece as a permanent tourist attraction on the Golden Mile was, therefore, met with great delight. For five years the ride opened throughout the season in all winds and all weathers. Carnesky’s Ghost Train went on the receive over 18,000 visitors a year proving to be a big hit not only with the thousands of holidaymakers who stumbled across it but also with those whose traveled to Blackpool especially. As well as being a popular tourist destination it provided the historic entertainment town with its only alternative performance venue. During the five-year residency Carnesky ran drama workshops for local young drama students on top of providing work for over 70 young people many of whom have gone on to work in theatre, TV, live-art and alternative cabaret.

Carnesky Productions has commissioned young filmmaker and ex-member of the Ghost Train cast, Harry Clayton-Wright to make a film about the impact of the ride on the town over its five-year residency and the effects of its closure. The film is to be released in the autumn of 2015.

Testimonials

Carnesky’s Ghost Train was an important part of my development as a performer who has the confidence to experiment and to be myself on stage.
Paloma Faith
Even in its brevity it manages to touch on the haunting pain of real experiences in which grotesque fairytale meets 19th- and 20th-century history head on
⭑⭑⭑⭑
Combining a cultural classy edge with a lot of enjoyable screaming, Carnesky’s Ghost Train is a passionate tribute to war scattered refugee ghosts. It was a success in London and is now even better, both more serious and more fun.
Libby Purves, The Times

Credits

Credits:

  • Artistic Director – Marisa Carnesky
  • Producers – London Artists Projects, Jeremy Goldstein, Rose Sharp, Natasha Davies, Richard Ryan, Steve Doidge
  • Project and Production Managers – Neil Cooper, Richard Ryan, Peter Haley, Steve Doidge
  • Illusion design – Paul Kieve
  • Digital media artist – Jonathan Allen
  • Dove trainer and supplier – Scott Penrose
  • Set designer – Laura Hopkins
  • Train and rail system structural design – Will Bowen
  • Facade and set construction – Scenery Jessel, Dovetail
  • Scenery, Blackpool Illuminations, Heckfords, Justin Pook
  • Scenery and facade painting/installation – Joseph Meager, Francis Coleman, Alistair Brotchie, Kate Hopkins, Kaye Dunnings
  • Carriage construction – Alex Turnpenny
  • Costumes – Zoe Lloyd, Hilary Lewis, Sarah Munro, Annie Cabasa
  • Artwork and graphics – Insect Circus ,Cathy Ward, Jean Christophe Nicolas, Mark Copeland,
  • Circus consultants – Geneva Foster Gluck, Marawa, Rowan Fae
  • Composer – Rohan Kriwaczek
  • Sound design – Lance Dann
  • Company Managers – Natacha Poledica, Bridey Watson, Jason Karl, Nona Cabasa

Cast:
Paloma Faith; Tai Shani; Geneva Foster Gluck; Violeta Misic; Dagmara Bilon; Agnes Czerna; Zamira Mummery; Jude Mannagh; Valeria Dragova; Nic Lyons; Layla Rosa; Gemma Brockiss; Valarie Renay; Amber Sealy; Rowan Fae; Empress Stah; Rhyannon Styles; H Plewis; Fancy Chance; Beatrice Brown; Madeleine Brown; Gemma Tortella; Rosie Meres; Lara Clifton; Tamara Tyrer; Mim King; Ruth Ivo; Marawa The Amazing; Leigh Robinson Cleaver; Marcella Puppini; Ashling Deeks; Freya Watson; Amber Hickey; Harry Clayton-Wright; Nona Cabasa; Kay Trayford; Jason Karl; Victoria Ivanov; Ivo Ivanov; Matthew Hunt; Felicity Schools; Danielle Watson; Dani James; Anthony Puckering; Jemma Drake; Mark Lofthouse; Annabel Pidduck; Red Roberts; Keely Atkinson Strutton; Keely Rose; Elliot Middlesborough; Olivia Rose; Hayley Ginger; Katie Davidson; Adrian Catch; Cheryl Dakin; Gaz Jenkins; Laura Catlow; Ginny Lax; Johna Curtis; Liam Jennsky; Annie Palin; Claire Mcdowell; Mikey J Young; Alison Eaves; Stephanie Cartmell

Supported by:

  • Arts Council England
  • Hellhound
  • Nesta
  • Mama Cash
  • European Cultural Foundation
  • Warwick Arts Centre
  • Fierce Festival
  • Creative Agency Lewisham
  • Glastonbury Festival
  • Zomer van Antwerpen
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • The University of Sheffield
  • Blackpool Council
  • Blackpool Illuminations
  • Sandcastle Water Park
  • Blackpool and the Flyde College