A horror film is a film that seeks to elicit fear. Inspired by literature from authors like Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, horror has existed as a film genre for more than a century; the macabre and the supernatural are frequent themes. Horror may overlap with the fantasy, supernatural fiction, thriller genres. Horror films aim to evoke viewers' nightmares, fears and terror of the unknown. Plots with in the horror genre involve the intrusion of an evil force, event, or personage into the everyday world. Prevalent elements include ghosts, extraterrestrials, werewolves, Satanism, evil clowns, torture, vicious animals, evil witches, zombies, psychopaths, ecological or man-made disasters, serial killers; some sub-genres of horror film include low-budget horror, action horror, comedy horror, body horror, disaster horror, found footage, holiday horror, horror drama, psychological horror, science fiction horror, supernatural horror, gothic horror, natural horror, zombie horror, disaster films, first-person horror, teen horror.
The first depiction of the supernatural on screen appear in several of the short silent films created by the French pioneer filmmaker Georges Méliès in the late 1890s. The best known of these early supernatural-based works is the 3-minute short film Le Manoir du Diable known in English as The Haunted Castle or The House of the Devil; the film is sometimes credited as being the first horror film. In The Haunted Castle, a mischievous devil appears inside a medieval castle and harasses the visitors. Méliès' other popular horror film is La Caverne maudite, which translates to "the accursed cave"; the film known for its English title The Cave of the Demons, tells the story of a woman stumbling over a cave, populated by the spirits and skeletons of people who died there. Méliès would make other short films that historians consider now as horror-comedies. Une nuit terrible, which translates to A Terrible Night, tells a story of a man who tries to get a good night's sleep but ends up wrestling a giant spider.
His other film, L'auberge ensorcelée, or The Bewitched Inn, features a story of a hotel guest getting pranked and tormented by an unseen presence. In 1897, the accomplished American photographer-turned director George Albert Smith created The X-Ray Fiend, a horror-comedy that came out a mere two years after x-rays were invented; the film shows a couple of skeletons courting each other. An audience full of people unaccustomed to the idea would have found it frightening and otherworldly; the next year, Smith created the short film Photographing a Ghost, considered a precursor to the paranormal investigation subgenre. The film portrays three men attempting to photograph a ghost, only to fail time and again as the ghost eludes the men and throws chairs at them. Japan made early forays into the horror genre. In 1898, a Japanese film company called Konishi Honten released two horror films both written by Ejiro Hatta. Though there are no records of the cast, crew, or plot of Bake Jizo, it was based on the Japanese legend of Jizo statues, believed to provide safety and protection to children.
The presence of the word bake—which can be translated to "spook," "ghost," or "phantom"—may imply a haunted or possessed statue. Spanish filmmaker Segundo de Chomón, regarded as one of the most significant silent film directors, was popular for his frequent camera tricks and optical illusions, an innovation that contributed to the popularity of trick films in the period, his famous works include Satan at Play. The Selig Polyscope Company in the United States produced one of the first film adaptations of a horror-based novel. In 1908, the company released Mr. Hyde, now a lost film, it is based on Robert Louis Stevenson's classic gothic novella Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, published 15 years prior, about a man who transforms between two contrasting personas. Georges Méliès liked adapting the Faust legend into his films. In fact, the French filmmaker produced at least six variations of the German legend of the man who made a pact with the devil. Among his notable Faust films include Faust aux enfers, known for its English title The Damnation of Faust, or Faust in Hell.
It is the filmmaker's third film adaptation of the Faust legend. In it, Méliès took inspiration from Hector Berlioz's Faust opera, but it pays less attention to the story and more to the special effects that represent a tour of hell; the film takes advantage of stage machinery techniques and features special effects such as pyrotechnics, substitution
An anthology series is a radio, television or book series that presents a different story and a different set of characters in each episode or season. These have a different cast each week, but several series in the past, such as Four Star Playhouse, employed a permanent troupe of character actors who would appear in a different drama each week; some anthology series, such as Studio One, began on radio and expanded to television. Medieval Greek anthologiā, collection of epigrams, from Greek, flower gathering, from anthologein, to gather flowers: antho-, antho- + logos, a gathering. Many popular old-time radio programs were anthology series. On some series, such as Inner Sanctum Mysteries, the only constant was the host, who introduced and concluded each dramatic presentation. One of the earliest such programs was The Collier Hour, broadcast on the NBC Blue Network from 1927 to 1932; as radio's first major dramatic anthology, it adapted stories and serials from Collier's Weekly in a calculated move to increase subscriptions and compete with The Saturday Evening Post.
Airing on the Wednesday prior to each week's distribution of the magazine, the program soon moved to Sundays in order to avoid spoilers with dramatizations of stories appearing in the magazine. Radio drama anthology series include: Academy Award Theater Arch Oboler's Plays The Campbell Playhouse Cavalcade of America CBS Radio Workshop Earplay Four Star Playhouse Lux Radio Theater The Mercury Theatre on the Air The Screen Guild Theater Stars over Hollywood Radio anthology series provided a format for science fiction, horror and mystery genres: Mystery House The Witch's Tale Lights Out The Hermit's Cave Famous Jury Trials Dark Fantasy Inner Sanctum Mysteries The Whistler Suspense The Mysterious Traveler Creeps by Night Mystery Playhouse The Strange Dr. Weird The Haunting Hour The Sealed Book Mystery in the Air The Weird Circle Quiet, Please! Escape The Unexpected The Hall of Fantasy 2000 Plus Dimension X ABC Mystery Theater, anthology and mystery series Sleep No More Theater 10:30 X Minus One The final episode of Suspense was broadcast on September 30, 1962, a date that has traditionally been seen as marking the end of the old-time radio era.
However, genre series produced since 1962 include: The Black Mass The Creaking Door Beyond Midnight The Zero Hour Mystery Theater Nightfall The Cabinet of Dr. Fritz 2000X The Twilight Zone In the history of television, live anthology dramas were popular during the Golden Age of Television of the 1950s with series such as The United States Steel Hour and The Philco Television Playhouse. Dick Powell came up with an idea for an anthology series, Four Star Playhouse, with a rotation of established stars every week, four stars in all; the stars would own the studio and the program, as Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz had done with Desilu studio. Powell had intended for the program to feature himself, Charles Boyer, Joel McCrea, Rosalind Russell; when Russell and McCrea backed out, David Niven came on board as the third star. The fourth star was a guest star. CBS liked the idea, Four Star Playhouse made its debut in fall of 1952, it ran on alternate weeks only during the first season, alternating with Andy.
It was successful enough to be renewed and became a weekly program from the second season until the end of its run in 1956. Ida Lupino was brought on board as the de facto fourth star, though unlike Powell and Niven, she owned no stock in the company. American television networks would sometimes run summer anthology series which consisted of unsold television pilots. Beginning in 1971, the long-run Masterpiece Theatre drama anthology series brought British productions to American television. In 2011, American Horror Story debuted a new type of anthology format in the U. S; each season, rather than each episode, is a standalone story. Several actors have appeared in the various seasons, but playing different roles—in an echo of the Four Star Playhouse format; the success of American Horror Story has spawned other season-long anthologies such as American Crime Story and Feud. The 20th Century Fox Hour ABC Movie of the Week ABC Stage 67 Academy Theatre Actors Studio Alcoa-Goodyear Theatre The Alcoa Hour Alcoa Premiere American Crime American Crime Story American Horror Story American Film Theatre American Playhouse The American Playwrights Theater: The One Acts Th
Psychoville is a British psychological horror-thriller black comedy mystery television series created & written by and starring The League of Gentlemen members Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton for the BBC. It debuted on BBC Two on 18 June 2009. Pemberton and Shearsmith each play numerous characters, with Dawn French and Jason Tompkins in additional starring roles; the first series was followed by a Halloween special, broadcast on 31 October 2010, which saw Imelda Staunton added to the main cast along with supporting actors Eileen Atkins and Daniel Kaluuya. The second series ended on 6 June. Reece Shearsmith has announced that there will not be a third series; the series revolves around five different characters from different parts of England: David Sowerbutts, a serial killer-obsessed man-child who still lives with his mother Maureen. All five are connected by a mysterious blackmailer who has sent them a letter each with the message: "I know what you did"; the series is named after the title given to The League of Gentlemen when the series was sold to Japan and Korea.
The series features a diverse set of five characters who live in different parts of England, all of whom have been blackmailed by the same individual, who has given them each a letter with the message "I know what you did…" In the second episode, the blackmailer leaves them a second message that reads, "You killed her". In the third episode they receive a videotape showing them in an asylum together performing "Close Every Door" from the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, it is disclosed that the institution was called Ravenhill Hospital. In Episodes Five and Six, the characters discover the final message: a key depicting a raven. At least David's letter contains the message "I'm waiting...". It is revealed that Joy, Robert and Oscar were involved in the death of Nurse Edwina Kenchington, the blackmailer's mother, Dr Stuart Strachen, aka Mr Jolly. Jolly blackmailed Jelly whom he blamed most, as he was operating on Jelly's hand while Kenchington was dying. David knocked her over and Joy pronounced her dead.
The group started a fire to cover their tracks. Oscar and Robert prevented her from leaving the room she was trapped in, but she somehow survived and returns to Ravenhill in the final episode looking for her locket. At the end of the series, Mr Jolly blows up part of the asylum with most of the main characters and Kenchington inside and it is revealed that Robert has the locket. Series two begins with Mr Jelly and Oscar's assistant Michael, aka "Tealeaf", attending the funeral of Mr Jolly. Afterwards, Jelly is given a box of Jolly's props, which turns out to contain Strachen's mobile phone and his ID card at Andrews Nanotech. Posing as Mr Jolly, Mr Jelly discovers that Strachen was using his surgical skills to deal in the black market organ trade, that Kenchington had an account with a cryogenic storage facility where her late father Ehrlichmann's head was kept frozen. Meanwhile, Andrews Nanotech has hired a police detective to retrieve Kenchington's locket by any means necessary. Robert gives the locket to Debbie for safekeeping, but after Robert's death, Debbie gives it away to make-up lady Hattie.
Detective Finney tracks down the former Ravenhill patients, questioning killing, Joy and Oscar, attempting to kill Mrs Wren. Oscar's friend, toyshop owner Peter Bishop, deduces that Oscar was killed for his connection to Ravenhill, he enlists Tealeaf's help with his investigation and they retrieve the locket from Hattie before Finney can get to it, contact Mr Jelly, whose own investigations have resulted in him taking possession of Ehrlichmann's frozen head. Bishop kills Tealeaf and travels to London with Mr Jelly to attempt to sell the locket and head to Grace Andrews, it is revealed that the method for restoring a frozen head to life, worked out by Edwina Kenchington, was microscopically engraved on the links of the locket chain, using this information, Andrews' team is able to bring Erlichmann's head back to life. The head is subsequently destroyed; the series ends with the revelation that David Sowerbutts is storing the corpse of his mother Maureen in a bathtub filled with ice, suggesting that she could be resurrected by the same technique.
Main article:List of Psychoville characters Shearsmith and Pemberton collaborated with Rob and Neil Gibbons to produce fictional web content to accompany the show including an interactive treasure hunt. Fake websites and promotional websites were created for many of the characters to allow viewers of the programme to get "an overall Psychoville experience." A new Psychoville Experience was created for series two, with a new interface and a selection of new fictional websites released after each episode. Viewers were asked to find a number each week and input them into a keypad to unlock a'secret chamber' at the end of the series; the chamber once opened. Five questions are asked and a certain amount correct
Rope is a 1948 American psychological crime thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, based on the 1929 play of the same name by Patrick Hamilton. The film was adapted by Hume Cronyn with a screenplay by Arthur Laurents; the film was produced by Hitchcock and Sidney Bernstein as the first of their Transatlantic Pictures productions. Starring James Stewart, John Dall and Farley Granger, this is the first of Hitchcock's Technicolor films, is notable for taking place in real time and being edited so as to appear as a single continuous shot through the use of long takes, it is the second of the first being Lifeboat. The original play was said to be inspired by the real-life murder of 14-year-old Bobby Franks in 1924 by University of Chicago students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb. Two brilliant young aesthetes, Brandon Shaw and Phillip Morgan, strangle to death their former classmate from Harvard University, David Kentley, in their Manhattan penthouse apartment, they commit the crime as an intellectual exercise.
After hiding the body in a large antique wooden chest and Phillip host a dinner party at the apartment, which has a panoramic view of Manhattan's skyline. The guests, who are unaware of what has happened, include the victim's father, Mr. Kentley, aunt, Mrs. Atwater. There are his fiancée, Janet Walker, her former lover, Kenneth Lawrence, once David's close friend. Brandon uses the chest containing the body as a buffet table for the food, just before their housekeeper, Mrs. Wilson, arrives to help with the party. "Now the fun begins", Brandon says. Brandon and Phillip's idea for the murder was inspired years earlier by conversations with their prep-school housemaster, publisher Rupert Cadell. While they were at school, Rupert had discussed with them, in an approving way, the intellectual concepts of Nietzsche's Übermensch, De Quincey's art of murder, as a means of showing one's superiority over others, he too is among the guests at the party, since Brandon in particular thinks that he would approve of their "work of art".
Brandon's subtle hints about David's absence indirectly lead to a discussion on the "art of murder". Brandon appears calm and in control, although when he first speaks to Rupert he is nervously excited and stammering. Phillip, on the other hand, is visibly morose, he starts to drink too much. When David's aunt, Mrs. Atwater, who fancies herself a fortune-teller, tells him that his hands will bring him great fame, she is referring to his skill at the piano, but he appears to think this refers to the notoriety of being a strangler. Much of the conversation, focuses on David and his strange absence, which worries the guests. A suspicious Rupert quizzes a fidgety Phillip about this and about some of the inconsistencies that have been raised in conversation. For example, Phillip vehemently denies strangling a chicken at the Shaws' farm, though Rupert has seen Phillip strangle several. Phillip complains to Brandon about having had a "rotten evening", not because of David's murder, but because of Rupert's questioning.
As the evening goes on, David's father and fiancée begin to worry because he has neither arrived nor phoned. Brandon increases the tension by playing matchmaker between Kenneth. Mrs. Kentley calls, overwrought because she has not heard from David, Mr. Kentley decides to leave, he takes with him some books Brandon has given him, tied together with the rope Brandon and Phillip used to strangle his son. When Rupert goes to leave, Mrs. Wilson accidentally hands him David's monogrammed hat, further arousing his suspicion. Rupert returns to the apartment a short while after everyone else has departed, pretending that he has left his cigarette case behind, he asks for a drink and stays to theorize about David's disappearance. He is encouraged by Brandon, who hopes Rupert will understand and applaud them. A drunk Phillip is unable to take it any more. But, the cat and, the mouse?" Rupert finds the body inside. He is horrified and ashamed, realizing that Brandon and Phillip used his own rhetoric to rationalize murder.
Rupert disavows all his previous talk of superiority and inferiority seizes Brandon's gun and fires several shots out the window to attract attention. As police sirens approach, Rupert pulls up a chair next to the film ends; the film is one of Hitchcock's most experimental and "one of the most interesting experiments attempted by a major director working with big box-office names", abandoning many standard film techniques to allow for the long unbroken scenes. Each shot ran continuously for up to ten minutes without interruption, it was shot on a single set, aside from the opening establishing shot street scene under the credits. Camera moves were planned and there was no editing; the walls of the set were on rollers and could silently be moved out of the way to make way for the camera and replaced when they were to come back into shot. Prop men had to move the furniture and other props out of the way of the large Technicolor camera, ensure they were replaced in the correct location. A team of soundmen and camera operators kept the camera and microphones in constant motion, as the actors kept to a choreographed set of cues.
The extraordinary cyclorama in the background was the largest backing used on a sound stage. It inc
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was an English film director and producer regarded as one of the most influential filmmakers in the history of cinema. Known as "the Master of Suspense", he directed over 50 feature films in a career spanning six decades, becoming as well known as any of his actors thanks to his many interviews, his cameo roles in most of his films, his hosting and producing of the television anthology Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Born in Leytonstone, Hitchcock entered the film industry in 1919 as a title card designer after training as a technical clerk and copy writer for a telegraph-cable company, he made his directorial debut with the silent film The Pleasure Garden. His first successful film, The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, helped to shape the thriller genre, while his 1929 film, was the first British "talkie". Two of his 1930s thrillers, The 39 Steps and The Lady Vanishes, are ranked among the greatest British films of the 20th century. By 1939 Hitchcock was a filmmaker of international importance, film producer David O. Selznick persuaded him to move to Hollywood.
A string of successful films followed, including Rebecca, Foreign Correspondent, Shadow of a Doubt, The Paradine Case. His 53 films have grossed over US$223.3 million worldwide and garnered a total of 46 Oscar nominations and six wins. The "Hitchcockian" style includes the use of camera movement to mimic a person's gaze, thereby turning viewers into voyeurs, framing shots to maximise anxiety and fear; the film critic Robin Wood wrote that the meaning of a Hitchcock film "is there in the method, in the progression from shot to shot. A Hitchcock film is an organism, with the whole implied in every detail and every detail related to the whole." By 1960 Hitchcock had directed four films ranked among the greatest of all time: Rear Window, North by Northwest, Psycho. In 2012 Vertigo replaced Orson Welles's Citizen Kane as the British Film Institute's greatest film made. By 2018 eight of his films had been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, including his personal favourite, Shadow of a Doubt.
He received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1979 and was knighted in December that year, four months before he died. Hitchcock was born on 13 August 1899 in the flat above his parents' leased grocer's shop at 517 High Road, Leytonstone, on the outskirts of east London, the youngest of three children: William, Ellen Kathleen, Alfred Joseph, his parents, Emma Jane Hitchcock, née Whelan, William Hitchcock, were both Roman Catholics, with partial roots in Ireland. There was a large extended family, including Uncle John Hitchcock with his five-bedroom Victorian house on Campion Road, complete with maid, cook and gardener; every summer John rented a seaside house for the family in Kent. Hitchcock said that he first became class-conscious there, noticing the differences between tourists and locals. Describing himself as a well-behaved boy—his father called him his "little lamb without a spot"—Hitchcock said he could not remember having had a playmate. One of his favourite stories for interviewers was about his father sending him to the local police station with a note when he was five.
The experience left him, with a lifelong fear of policemen. When he was six, the family moved to Limehouse and leased two stores at 130 and 175 Salmon Lane, which they ran as a fish-and-chips shop and fishmongers' respectively, it seems that Hitchcock was seven when he attended his first school, the Howrah House Convent in Poplar, which he entered in 1907. According to Patrick McGilligan, he stayed at Howrah House for at most two years, he attended a convent school, the Wode Street School "for the daughters of gentlemen and little boys", run by the Faithful Companions of Jesus. The family moved again when he was 11, this time to Stepney, on 5 October 1910 Hitchcock was sent to St Ignatius College in Stamford Hill, Tottenham, a Jesuit grammar school with a reputation for discipline; the priests used a hard rubber cane on the boys, always at the end of the day, so the boys had to sit through classes anticipating the punishment once they knew they'd been written up for it. He said; the school register lists his year of birth as 1900 rather than 1899.
While biographer Gene Adair reports that Hitchcock was "an average, or above-average, pupil", Hitchcock said he was "usually among the four or five at the top of the class". His favourite subject was geography, he became interested in maps, railway and bus timetables, he told Peter Bogdanovich: "The Jesuits taught me organization, control and, to some
Amateur theatre known as amateur dramatics, is theatre performed by amateur actors and singers. Amateur theatre groups may stage plays, musicals, light opera, pantomime or variety shows, do so for the social activity as well as the artistic side. Productions may take place in venues ranging from the open air, community centres or schools to independent or major professional theatres and can be simple light entertainment or demanding drama. Amateur theatre is distinct from the professional or community theatre in that participants are not paid, although this is not always the case though the productions staged may be commercial ventures, either to fund further productions, to benefit the community, or for charity. Amateur actors are not members of actors' unions, as these organisations exist to protect the professional industry and discourage their members from working with companies which are not signatories to union contracts. Opinions vary on. Technically speaking, an "amateur" is anyone who does not accept, or is not offered, money for their services.
One interpretation of this is: "One lacking the skill of a professional, as in an art". Another is: "A person who engages in an art, study, or athletic activity as a pastime rather than as a profession". An amateur actor is unlikely to be a member of an actors' union as most countries' trades unions have strict policies in place. For example, in Britain Equity "are pleased to welcome into Equity anyone, working professionally in the field of entertainment." In the USA the Actors' Equity Association serves a similar purpose: to protect the professional industry and its artists. While the majority of professional stage performers have developed their skills and studied their craft at recognised training institutions such as the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Juilliard School or National Institute of Dramatic Art, amateurs are not professionally trained. Amateur theatre can be defined as "theatre performances in which the people involved are not paid but take part for their own enjoyment". Locally organised theatrical events provide a source of entertainment for the community, can be a fun and exciting hobby, with strong bonds of friendship formed through participation.
Many amateur theatre groups reject the "amateur" label and its negative association with "amateurish", preferring to style themselves "dramatic societies", "theatre groups" or just "players". Scottish theatre-maker and writer Andrew Mckinnon in 2006 observed: whether we like it or not, whatever its original root meaning – the word'amateur' now has a negative pejorative significance in modern English usage when it applies to theatre and art. In theatre specifically,'amateurism' is used to imply muddled and botched work, low standards, lack of preparation, so on. François Cellier and Cunningham Bridgeman wrote, in 1914, that prior to the late 19th century, amateur actors were treated with contempt by professionals. After the formation of amateur Gilbert and Sullivan companies licensed to perform the Savoy operas, professionals recognised that the amateur societies "support the culture of music and the drama, they are now accepted as useful training schools for the legitimate stage, from the volunteer ranks have sprung many present-day favourites."
Amateurs continue to argue that they perform a community service, while in the 1960s, there was still, "particularly in professional quarters, a deep-rooted suspicion that amateur theatre is an institution that exists in order to give significance to'amateur dramatics' a frivolous kind of amusement with no pretention to art" or "as a base for starring the most popular and politically astute members" Nevertheless, many professional actors established their craft on the amateur stage. After 1988, in the UK, membership in the actors' Equity union can no longer be made compulsory, professional performers may perform with any amateur company; some amateur companies engage professional directors. These changes are blurring the distinction between professional theatre. Amateur theatre is sometimes referred to in the UK as "non-commercial theatre". In recent times the distinction between'amateur' and'professional' has been blurred further, with professional companies encouraging community involvement in their productions through using local amateur companies.
An example of this is the Royal Shakespeare Company's 2016 tour of A Midsummer Night's Dream: A Play for the Nation: in each of the 14 cities visited by the touring show, the company recruited local members of amateur companies to play the parts of Nick Bottom and the other Mechanicals. People throughout Great Britain participate in amateur theatre as performers, crew or audience members and many children first experience live theatre during local amateur performances of the annual Christmas pantomime. Amateur theatre can sometimes be a springboard for the development of new performing talent with a number of professional actors having their first stage experiences in amateur theatre such as Liam Neeson, James Nesbitt and Nathan Wright. A survey carried in 2002 by the major UK umbrella organisation for amateur theatre, National Operatic and Dramatic Association, noted that "Public support in the UK for amateur theatre is patchy", but found that the annual turnover of affiliated groups was £34 million from 25,760 performances with 437,800 participants, 29% of whom were under 21.
An earlier, limited su
The League of Gentlemen
The League of Gentlemen is a British comedy television series that premiered on BBC Two in 1999. The show is set in Royston Vasey, a fictional town in Northern England based on Alston and follows the lives of bizarre characters, most of whom are played by three of the show's four writers—Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith—who, along with Jeremy Dyson, formed the League of Gentlemen comedy troupe in 1995; the series aired for three series from 1999 until 2002 followed by a film in 2005. A three-part revival mini-series was broadcast in December 2017 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the group's first appearance on BBC Radio 4; the series was filmed in Hadfield, Derbyshire. The series ended in 2002, was followed by a film The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse and a stage production The League of Gentlemen Are Behind You! in 2005. Shearsmith and Pemberton collaborated to create another dark comedy series, Psychoville; the three performed together in the fourth series of Horrible Histories, in which they play American film producers who hear movie pitches from historical figures.
Shearsmith and Pemberton wrote and starred in the black comedy anthology series Inside No. 9, which premiered on BBC Two in 2014. The BBC announced in August 2017 that three new episodes would be produced to commemorate the show's 20th anniversary, they aired on BBC2 on 18, 19 and 20 December 2017. The stage show began in late 1994 and it was not long before the team took as their name the title of a Jack Hawkins movie, The League of Gentlemen. In 1997 they were awarded the Perrier award for comedy at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and their radio series On the Town with The League of Gentlemen, debuted on BBC Radio 4. On the Town was set in the fictional town of Spent, they won a Sony Award for this six-episode run. In 1999 the show moved to television and acquired a cult following. A Christmas Special was broadcast in December 2000, after the airing of the second series. For television, Spent was renamed Royston Vasey - the given name of comedian Roy Chubby Brown, who appears in the series, notably as the Mayor of Royston Vasey in series 2.
Along with The Fast Show, the series is credited with the revival of the sketch show format in BBC comedy. Its influence can be seen on series Little Britain. Filming took place on location in the north Derbyshire town of Hadfield and had no live audience. A laugh track was added to the first and second series, by inviting a studio audience to watch a playback of the completed episodes as well as the filming of certain interior scenes, such as the Dentons'; the laughter track was dropped from the Christmas Special and Series 3 when shown in the United Kingdom. The group took the show on tour for the first time in 2001, using a mixture of old and new material. In early 2005 a special one-off sketch was broadcast on the BBC for Comic Aid, a charity benefit for the tsunami disaster. In this, two of the most popular characters and Papa Lazarou, kidnapped Miranda Richardson. A feature-length film, The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse, was released on 3 June 2005. In the same year, the League toured the UK with their new pantomime-themed show, The League of Gentlemen Are Behind You, which ran from October to mid-December.
In September 2006, the unofficial website reported that The League of Gentlemen were to'reunite' at the beginning of 2007, most to plan for the fourth series. Shearsmith and Pemberton appeared on The Russell Brand Show on 22 December 2006; when asked "Will there be any more of The League of Gentlemen?", Shearsmith replied "Yes" but was quick to change the subject and not reveal anything about a new series. On the official website, Shearsmith's blog entry for 23 May 2007 stated that the troupe had met up in London's West End: "We discussed our next project - it seems we have hit upon something. Early days - but exciting nevertheless."In May 2008, Shearsmith confirmed that although he and Steve would be making Psychoville without the other members of the League, the League would re-unite in the future. Despite this claim, Gatiss appears in the show as an actor, murdered by the characters played by Pemberton and Shearsmith. In 2010, a one off radio show, The League of Gentlemen's Ghost Chase, was broadcast on 28 October for Halloween.
Unlike other shows, this was not a scripted dark comedy but a documentary of the members spending a night at The Ancient Ram Inn, reputedly the most haunted hotel in the country. Speaking to BBC Radio 6 in October 2016, Mark Gatiss spoke about the desire of the creators to bring back the show in some form with Brexit forming a suitable background to revive it. In April 2017, both Gatiss and Shearsmith confirmed that the show would be returning for an anniversary special; the BBC announced in August 2017 that three special new episodes were to be produced, to be aired in December 2017. In the radio series, the plot involved outsider Benjamin Denton visiting his aunt and uncle in Spent to be interviewed for a job at the local power plant. Not he missed the interview and was forced to stay longer than expected. In the first television series, a sketch show, the story opens by revisiting the arrival of Benjamin Denton in Royston Vasey at the home of Uncle Harvey and Auntie Val. Another main plot involves a new roa