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An Interview with Andy Nyman & Jeremy Dyson (Ghost Stories)


Jeremy: "Hand on heart, I think this will be the scariest it's ever been".

Andy Nyman & Jeremy Dyson (Ghost Stories)
Interview conducted by Steven Davies
20 February 2014

Hit horror theatre show 'Ghost Stories' has returned to the West End of London following up its hugely successful run. Co-creators Andy Nyman ('Kick-Ass 2') and Jeremy Dyson ('The League of Gentlemen') took time out to chat with us about their rebooted play set to scare the living crap out of all those who brave the production at its new home at the London Arts Theatre.

Many of us fans of the show have been highly anticipating its return to the West End. Do you think the restaged and reimagined version will surprise and still please audiences whom are familiar with the original setup?
ANDY: We are so excited about this new production. Whilst the play is fundamentally the same, we have made changes throughout it, some small and someÖ.well letís just say they will be very cool.

During itsí last London run I managed to get down to see the show on three separate occasions with three separate groups of friends. It was interesting to see each of their reactions to the shows' constant surprises and what in particular scared them the most. How evolved is the latest production in terms of the fear factor?
JEREMY: Hand on heart, I think this will be the scariest itís ever been. Itís a combination of the new moments we have written combined with the fact this theatre is soooo intimate. Itís just 350 seats and the look and sound of it is almost overwhelming at times.

A number of new faces have joined the production this time around. How involved are you guys with the casting of the show?
ANDY: As the directors, Jeremy and I had 100% control over the casting. We were lucky enough to get all our first choices of actors.

Jeremy: "'Ghost Stories' is unlike any play you will ever have seen before".

Andy, I understand you are not amongst the cast this time around (shame on you! :)), was this a decision of necessity due to your workload or simply a chance to step back and shake things up?
ANDY: Having done the show over 500 times in the west end last time around, we really wanted to make sure the show worked without me. The actor we have playing my role is superb, so we are in very good hands.

There have been rumours of a potential adaptation to the big screen for a 'Ghost Stories' movie. Is this something being planned and if so can we expect an anthology type horror or will we see a particular segment of the show expanded?
JEREMY: Oh itís real. Andy and i have written the screenplay and are now in negotiations with the company we want to work with. Itís very exciting, we may well roll cameras on it early next year. That will be for Andy and I to direct and for Andy to reprise the role again.

The show's success has been largely due to the tight lipped audience members who have selflessly kept quiet about the terrifying surprises of 'Ghost Stories' so not to spoil the experience for others. My partner (who refers to Andy as the cute one in 'Severance') is yet to enjoy 'Ghost Stories', but will be attending later this month, and I've told her very little about the show. If you could pitch the experience to her in one simple sentence what would it be?
ANDY: Firstly your partner has excellent taste.

JEREMY: Secondly ĎGhost Storiesí is unlike any play you will ever have seen before, it is an 80 minute thrill ride that will make you laugh, scream and leap out of your seat. Itís a joy that despite over 300,000 people seeing it worldwide, itís secrets are still kept under wraps.

There's been an obvious horror influence throughout both your careers. What do you think keeps the genre going that makes it still so special to those of all ages?
ANDY: Itís the best escapism. When horror is great, you have no choice, you have to succumb and lose your self in the story. Add to the that jolts and adrenaline rush of a good one, and you leave feeling alive and buzzing.

Andy: "When horror is great, you have no choice, you have to succumb and lose your self in the story".

For me it was when Glen (played by Johnny Depp) was pulled into his bed by Freddy in an explosion of blood in Wes Craven's original 'A Nightmare on Elm Street'. That's where my interest in horror was piqued. If you had to specify a moment in horror which you think seeded your love for the genre what would it be?
ANDY: For me it was two-fold, the terror of the scary opening credits of the ITV Saturday night series ĎThrillerí in the 1970ís, that was the first thing that truly scared me. It then lay dormant until I saw ĎThe Fogí at the pictures. The whole jolting experience changed my life.

You guys clearly have a great working relationship, do you have any plans to collaborate in the future on any projects?
JEREMY: Oh yes, on lots. We have our next play and two other film projects in the pipeline.

Whatís next for you guys when this run ends? Jeremy, can we expect to see more from 'The League' in the future? And Andy, how did you get involved with Evan Katz's segment in the upcoming 'ABCs of Death 2í?
ANDY: I bumped into Evan Katz at Fright Fest last year and we had a mutual admiration for each others work. I then got an email out the blue asking me to star in his ABC segment: I couldnít get on the plane fast enough!

Jeremy: Me and the other guys did a one off charity event earlier this year. It was wonderful to be together again but at the moment we're all just too busy with our own separate projects. Obviously never say never though, when the timings right you never know.

For more about the show and to buy tickets you can head on over to: www.ghoststoriestheshow.co.uk

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