I recently caught up with Stuart Morriss, the man behind the hugely successful Misty Moon Film Society. For several years now, Misty Moon has brought together the very best of classic horror and comedy film stars for celebrations of their work. I wanted to find out more...
- First of all, can you tell me a little about the history of the Misty Moon Society and how this venture started?
Misty Moon Exhibitions and Events was created in 2009 as a small arts and craft fair at St Hilda’s Church Hall in SE London.
Misty Moon then went on to hold critically acclaimed exhibitions at a small local gallery, where we exhibited work by local and international artists. The work was on the dark and quirky side of life. Adrienne King star of the original Friday the 13th, came to Misty Moon to exhibit her paintings and to meet her fans. It was at this time The Misty Moon Film Society was born.
Adrienne put her name to Misty Moon and supported us in our development. We started to hold cosy evenings with actors and actresses from cult TV & Film with a limited audience of 40. The evenings include a Q&A hosted by Misty Moon’s outrageous MC Chris Collins, an autograph and photo session and a meet and greet with the guests.
The audience and guests love Misty Moon because of the intimate experience they get. As we say to everyone, “It is like going to a friend’s house for a couple of drinks and to chat about your favourite film”.
The guests we have had include: Danielle Harris, Ken Foree, Michael Berryman, Lynn Lowry, Fenella Fielding, Robin Askwith, Richard Kiel, Kate O’Mara, Nicola Bryant, Katy Manning, Louise Jameson, Sarah Douglas, David Barry, Linda Regan, Anita Harris, Brian Murphy, Madeline Smith, Caroline Munro, Sally Geeson, to name but a few.
Our Honorary Patrons are Hammer Babe Judy Matheson, Emma Dark and David Barry who played Frankie Abbott in “Please Sir” and “The Fenn Street Gang” and our President or "El Presidente" is Robin Askwith
- You feature a mix of comedy and horror film stars in your events at Misty Moon, if you had to choose your favourite genre which would it be and why?
I think my favourite genre is classic horror, I love the 70s & 80s American slasher films like Halloween and Friday the 13th. I have been watching "Scooby Doo Where Are You" cartoons recently and I think that is where my love from horror must have originally come from, watching Scooby Doo as a child ?
- You have hosted a number of events featuring stars of many classic British horror films. I confess I know little about this genre - if you could recommend a classic horror film for a newcomer to the genre, what would it be and why?
My favourites are the original Halloween, The Fog and the original Friday the 13th. British horror I like Lust For A Vampire and The Woman In Black.
- Your current patrons include David Barry and Judy Matheson. What does it mean to have people like them supporting what you do?
We have had some great patrons since we started including Nicola Bryant from Doctor Who, Sally Geeson and Danielle Harris. Having a guest that really enjoys the gigs we do and then puts their name to us and helps promote is unbelievable and makes us feel so proud and honored. The patrons also try and come to some of the gigs.
- Robin Askwith is a regular collaborator, best known of course for the Confessions films. What is he like to work with?
Robin is fabulous and has now become our President. He is a great friend and we talk most days on the phone. What you see is what you get with him. He is the cheeky chappie that we all know and love and we have toured his show with him over the last couple of years and we are going to Darlington with him in September for the show.
- Several stars of Carry On have made appearances at Misty Moon Events in recent years - are there any elusive actors and actresses from the series you'd love to work with?
Jen and I went to Jim Dale's one man show at The Vaudeville Theatre last year and we met him afterwards. He knew of Misty Moon because of our work with Fenella Fielding and it really humbled me. I would love to do a show with him.
- Some of your most recent events have taken place at the Phoenix Artist Club in Soho - what's that venue like to work in?
The Phoenix Artist Club is now the regular home of Misty Moon. It is so theatre and showbiz related and is so Misty Moon. The staff are so friendly and attentive andwe have a geat working relationship with them.
- You have hosted several events with Fenella Fielding over the years - What is she like to work with?
Fenella first came to us 4 years ago and I thought it couldn't get much better than that. 4 years down the line we have held 20 gigs with Fenella and after last week's sell out show at the Phoenix with her we are embarking on a 8 week West End run with Fenella at The Phoenix starting in November. Fenella is a true legend and a very dear friend.
- The Misty Moon is running an International Film Festival later in the year - can you tell me a bit more about that?
Misty Moon supports art in all it's various forms and our tag line is "Where Art & Film Collide". The festival will screen 5 or 6 indie films that made it through to the final and will be judged on the night by our celebrity judges Perry Benson, Brian Murphy, Dominic Brunt, Judy Matheson, Linda Regan, Nina Muschallik and Emma Dark. A bit like The X Factor, they will give their views on each film and then the audience will choose the winner. This will be held at The Cinema Museum on Saturday the 29th October in time for Halloween.
- Do you have any events lined up that Carry On fans and fans of classic British comedy should look out for?
We have on the 15th October "George & Mildred The Movie Reunion" at The Cinema Museum where the film will be screened and then a Q&A with Brian Murphy, Norman Eshley, Nicholas Bond-Owen and David Barry and our special guest MC is Linda Regan. We are also working with Fenella over the Autumn and our production of "A Day In The Lives Of Frankie Abbott" starring David Barry is at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival & Camden Fringe Festival this month and at The Phoenix Artist Club in September. We are also just confirming a date for a "Citizen Smith Reunion" at The Phoenix early next year with Mike Grady, George Sweeney and Tony Millan.
- Finally, a couple of Carry On questions - first of all, who is your favourite Carry On star of all time?
- And also, I have to ask, what's your favourite Carry On film?
Carry On Screaming
Thanks once again to Stuart for taking time out to answer my questions. You can follow Misty Moon on Twitter here and you can visit their website here