Ghost Stories, written by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman, is the closest experience to a living horror film you will get.
Marketing departments across the globe will try to convince you that 3D is the next step of evolution in terror, yet having seen this theatrical delight I beg to differ. Few films can boast the level of suspense and thrill that the audience is subjected to, and there are moments of genuine icy cold terror scattered throughout the production.
An immersive experience begins as soon as you walk in off the street, as the entire theatre is themed for the event, with eerie sounds accompanying and dark, dank concrete walls and flickering light bulbs leading all the way from the foyer to your seat. As performance time draws closer, the tensions builds and screams start as the theatre suddenly goes black.
The show is set up as a lecture from Dr. Goodman (Nyman), a seemingly sceptical parapsychologist who begins with some debate about ‘ghosts caught on camera’. To all intents and purposes, the audience feels like they have attended a class in which they quickly become absorbed. He then moves on to sharing with us his life’s work; three recorded interviews from subjects who claim to have experienced the paranormal, or percipients as they are more formally known: a night watchman, a teenage driver and a businessman father-to-be.
As each interview is played back the story is brought to life on stage, with delicious direction and set design mixed with the illusion and slight-of-hand mastery you’d expect from Nyman, known for his work behind the scenes with Psychological Illusionist Derren Brown.
Upon leaving the theatre, a request is made to keep the secrets of Ghost Stories, and as such the wishes of the creative team will be honoured. It is safe to say, however, that this is the kind of production that leaves you analysing for days afterwards and begs for multiple viewings.
Even if you’re not much of a theatre goer you need to see this show. It is macabre, haunting, humorous, beautiful, moving and terrifying.
A master class in spine-tingling terror, no film has come close to this in a very long time.