Last Saturday I was lucky enough to attend the fantastic performance of 'Ghost Stories' in London's West End. The horror play, with moments of extreme shock and tension, from creators Andy Nyman ('Severance', 'Black Death', 'Dead Set') and 'The League of Gentleman' co-creator Jeremy Dyson is currently enjoying an extended run at the Duke of York Theatre, WC2 in London. It's been extremely well received and has been given some remarkable praise and plaudits from critics and celebrities alike. So it was about time we at the Horror Asylum checked it out.
There's been quite a lot of hype and talk of this show for some time now due mostly to it's amazing lack of promotion yet consistent reports of audiences scared witless and its 15 years and above age restriction. The theatrical experience, I can vouch, was indeed terrifying. 80mins of truly intense and macabre set-ups and sequences on stage really leave you with a sense of uncertainty and a level of uneasiness. It's grabbed itself an extended run until 19 February 2011 so my advice would be to catch it while you still can!
The show itself requests that the secrets of 'Ghost Stories' should not be shared so not to spoil others enjoyment. If this was a movie I probably wouldn't hesitate in spouting out the 'best bits' to all my friends and family. But this is something else, this is something I truly wouldn't want people to know about beforehand.
Check out the trailer for 'Ghost Stories' below
Andy Nyman himself plays Dr Goodman, a Professor of Parapsychology who delivers a paranormal lecture to us whilst highlighting 3 of his most interesting past subjects and their tales. Each story is re-enacted on stage with brilliant originality. The Duke of York is a small theatre and to get the sense of space and scenery and generate such an electric atmosphere is to be applauded.
Without seeing any advanced footage of 'Ghost Stories' it made me anxious and weary as to what I was going to see on stage when the lights went out - a great preemptive tactic by the shows creators. I was anticipating the possibility of cheap scares and boo's but the 'jump out of your seat' moments are executed expertly. The direction and setup it first class.
There is no interval so as to not 'spoil' the hightened tension within the room and it just adds to the whole appeal of this fantastic show. If the stories existed as a movie - a horror anthology - there is no way this would have been as affective as it was. The entire stage prencense draws you in and wholly beats watching any horror flick on DVD at a darkened cinema screening.
I'm not someone who is unusually unsettled by anything relating to horror but 'Ghost Stories', I don't mind admitting, played on my mind for some time after I'd left the theatre. And it was a pretty uncomforting night's sleep in my hotel room thereafter.
You can check out some more info and book your tickets over at the official 'Ghost Stories' site and also why not check out this special interview with the creators...