Ghost Stories has been one of those shows on my ‘to see’ list for quite a while, and frankly, up until now, I had just chickened out. But this week I found myself voluntarily walking past the London Dungeons-esque blood-splattered walls into the Arts Theatre’s auditorium.
Ghost Stories was written by Andy Nyman (co-creator of many of Derren Brown’s mind-bending shows) and Jeremy Dyson (creator of the League of Gentlemen). Pitched somewhere between horrifying and humorous, possibly the laugh counter (be it very nervous) was just as high as the scream counter.
The show requests all its audiences to keep the secrets of the show, so when it comes to a review, it’s difficult to know what to say! Ghost Stories plays on very traditional fears and horror stories, pitching the tacky with the genuinely fascinating concept of what can go through a person’s mind when faced with a helpless situation.
None of your senses are safe in this show, from the Dr Caligari style, 1920s horror inspired set by John Bausor, James Farncombe’s angular, sparing lighting and the occasional smell that wafts through the auditorium. Special note must also go to the incredible work by Scott Penrose for his unfathomable special effects that were subtly placed between the very obvious ones.
Maybe the title, ‘Ghost Stories’, doesn’t actually quite hit the mark, they are tales, yes, ones that will play on your mind, for sure, modern-day terror-tales perhaps. But, whatever they are, you’d have to have nerves of steel not to respond in some way. However much we say we are safe, we only really have ourselves to blame.
This production is as much for the fans of mysteries as it is for horror fans, deftly performed by the cast it runs along at a rip-roaring pace and will definitely get you talking as you calm your nerves over a pint on the way out. A show for theatre fans and theatre-phobics alike, Ghost Stories pitches perfectly between the ghoulish and the humorous, the tropes and the twists.
Review by Isabella Van Braeckel
A truly terrifying theatrical experience written and directed by The League of Gentlemen’s master of the macabre, Jeremy Dyson, and Andy Nyman, co-creator and director of Derren Brown’s television and stage shows and star of Dead Set, Severance and Kick Ass 2.
Ghost Stories mixes the very best of theatre with the buzz of a thrill-ride, delivering something truly unique. With some new moments of shock, this revival promises more jolts than ever. You haven’t seen horror, until you’ve seen it live.
6-7 Great Newport Street
London, WC2H 7JB
Evenings: Tuesday to Saturday 8.00pm and Sunday at 7.00pm
Matinees: Saturday 5.00pm and Sunday 4.00pm
Running Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Age Restrictions: Suitable for ages 15+
Show Opened: 13th Feb 2014
Booking Until: 18th January 2015
Important Info: Please be advised that Ghost Stories contains moments of severe shock and tension. The show is unsuitable for anyone under the age of 15. We strongly advise that those of a nervous disposition to think very seriously before attending.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE WILL BE NO RE-ADMITTANCE INTO THE AUDITORIUM DURING THE PERFORMANCE
Friday 3rd October 2014