Theatre Review – Ghost Stories – Duke of York’s, London

Ghost Stories

Writer Andy Nyman, who co-wrote Ghost Stories with Jeremy Dyson and also stars in it, would prefer audiences not to know anything about the play before they go to see it. I’m happy to oblige with this request, although it makes writing a review rather hard work, as you can imagine.

What I can say however, is that Ghost Stories is 80 minutes of quite brilliant theatre. Well acted, with innovative set design, the play balances precariously between horror and comedy. It is also exceptionally well paced, understanding the need to keep the audience waiting, so adding to the general feeling of unease.

To enjoy it truly you have to buy into the experience, I’ve seen more than one cynical reviewer proclaim that they can’t see what all the fuss is about. Well the fuss is that it’s good old fashioned storytelling, and like any ghost story, if you prod and poke at it too much then you stop yourself becoming immersed in the tale. This is not 80 minutes of instant gratification for the gore hound, but a smart, intelligent story that knows exactly what it sets out to achieve.

I’ve been in love with horror since my late teens but can think of few examples of things that truly disturbed me, kept me awake at night, or even elicted much of a vocal reaction other than the odd squeak or whimper. Last night I shocked myself by screaming so loudly you’d think I was auditioning as a scream queen for a B movie. Utterly involuntary and boy did I feel silly (and sore!), but a sure sign that I found the play engaging.

Without doubt the brilliant cast, lighting and special effects all add up to a potent combination that cheerfully plays on a variety of well-established horror tropes. Ultimately, I found it a postive and gleeful experience and one that I’d repeat happily, when Reece Shearsmith joins the cast next month.

Ghost Stories will be running at the Duke of York’s until February 19th 2011

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~ by moviegrrlreviews on October 9, 2010.

One Response to “Theatre Review – Ghost Stories – Duke of York’s, London”

  1. […] the whole thing and allow yourself to be carried away. In that respect it reminded me very much of Ghost Stories and like that play, I came out of Insidious throughly entertained and extremely […]

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