Feb 3rd, 2014
Our review on the show's 2014 revival at the Arts Theatre:
What can I tell you about Ghost Stories, London's new favourite spine chilling scare-fest playing at The Arts Theatre? Well, as it turns out, not a great deal. The show ends with a disclaimer asking the audience not to pass on the secrets of the show. So far, so Mousetrap.
However, what I can tell you is that Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman's brilliance is just as sparkling as ever, brimming with bad-taste and the macabre, setting you down in an unnerving universe that I will always associate with the browns and beige of the 1970s. Anyway, sitting in a thoroughly well disguised Arts Theatre, one does not know what to expect, which is the very crux of the genius of the show.
We're addressed by Professor Goodman, a cynical amiable chap who studies the paranormal, and slowly we're all participants in a jovial lecture, educating us to the nature of those who believe in the supernatural or 'percipients', Goodman then goes on to recall three stories that even have him flummoxed, here starteth the Ghost Stories proper.
Of their contents, of course, I can't speak, but broadly we have a lonely night watchman, a student whose borrowed car breaks down in the middle of nowhere and a charmingly priggish city boy and expectant father. All the performances were fantastic, but its Goodman's own turn that makes the play as his facade begins to crack.
Design wise, the sets and effects were top tier as they help to thoroughly creep the audience out. In terms of frights, there are thrills and spills, but perhaps the best word is frenzy. From the middle of the stalls, we were right in the thick of the nervous hysteria, in fact, I laughed far more than I did jump or shriek, but the atmosphere is so excitable, like being at a party, everyone united in the experience.
For those in search of a visceral flash bang show, Ghost Stories will deliver! It won't make you wet yourself, but if you make sure you're in the right mood, you will leave the theatre in an adrenaline-filled laughing fit as I did.
View our show pages for more information about Ghost Stories, Duke of Yorks Theatre.
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