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A CurtainUp London Review
Ghost Stories taps into the fascination that we have with the paranormal, why we actually pay for the experience of being scared. The introduction to Ghiost Stories from a professor, Philip Goodman (Andy Nyman) first examines the audience's own experience of, and belief in, ghosts. The professor then relates to us the accounts of three of his respondents to a survey and their close encounters with ghosts are played onstage. The theatre have specifically asked critics not to reveal much of the plot and the surprise elements of the show, with which I concur because to spoil someone else's theatrical experience is not acceptable.
However I think I may describe the three scenarios, each spine tingling but leaving out the detail which makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. Alone at night with only a walkie talkie for contact in the small hours of the morning is night watchman Tony (David Cardy) whose past may trouble him. I used to babysit for strangers and I found it very creepy being alone at night in someone else's house with the unaccustomed, which seems so much louder at night, a clock ticking or a door creaking. The most terrifying for me is the situation student Simon Rifkind (Ryan Gage) finds himself in. Not having passed his driving test, but having lied about it to his parents, driving their car he breaks down late at night in the middle of the countryside where every tree branch takes on a sinister shape. Finally there is a scene which all parents will find terrifying, set in the nursery of estate agent Mike Priddle's (Nicholas Burns) large London house.
A three way directional credit goes to the show's devisers, Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman, with Sean Holmes collaborating. Scott Penrose known as a magician is responsible for the special effects and designer Jon Bausor has created the spooky sets.
That dear readers is as much as I can reveal but do not see this show alone so at least you have someone to hang onto and to tell you what happened when you shut your eyes.
Retold by Tina Packer of Shakespeare & Co.
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