Chronic Insanity airs hairy hands horror story

Published: 12 February 2021
Reporter: Steve Orme

Producer and sound designer Hannah Parsons and Joe Strickland, writer and director of Hairy Hands FM

Nottingham-based theatre company Chronic Insanity is to release Hairy Hands FM, an online interactive experience which will bring the “legendary Hairy Hands of Dartmoor to the smartphone in your hands”.

The 20-minute audio adventure will “guide audiences on a “treacherous journey, full of terrifying tales and fantastical folklore”. Since first sighted in the 1920s, mysterious “hairy hands” have been blamed by motorists for numerous road accidents in Devon, with drivers claiming a pair of hands has seized control of the steering wheel.

Hairy Hands FM brings these spooky sightings to life “through intricate, unnerving binaural sound design with only a radio host for guidance to help defeat the mythical monster”.

Produced in partnership with South West Creative Technology Network, Hairy Hands FM will feature as part of the BBC Arts talent development scheme New Creatives, encouraging artists aged between 16 and 30 to push creative boundaries and reflect their experiences of living in Britain today.

Chronic Insanity’s latest production follows in the footsteps of their 12 shows in 12 months project which included the digital theatre production 52 Souls.

The company’s artistic director Joe Strickland said, “I’m a theatre maker motivated by telling stories in ways that people aren’t familiar with, often with interactivity, often with digital technology.

“I’m also a big horror fan and love how, as a genre, it preys on collective and cultural fears. I think a lot of people are currently afraid of sudden unexpected chaos or things they don’t understand having immeasurably huge effects on their lives, and this is a fear horror can address really well, especially with an interactive horror experience in one’s own home.

“People like the safe space horror provides for confronting and exploring difficult topics and, though this experience will be scary, it will provide a positive outcome—helping people realise they can control their fears, not be ruled by them.”

Hairy Hands FM, written and directed by Strickland and produced and with sound design by Hannah Parsons, will be available for three months from Friday 26 March. Further information can be found at the Chronic Insanity web site.