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Review: Books, Theatre, Albums, Movies and Gigs

Ghost Stories.

Liverpool Playhouse
February 10 – February 20

Author:  Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman
Director: Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman
Designed by: John Bausor
Cast Includes: Andy Nyman, Nicholas Burns, David Cardy, Ryan Gage

Running Time: 80 minutes

Ghost Stories promotional image

Everyman Liverpool Playhouse official website


Written by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman, the dark humour and horror of the BBC’s League of Gentlemen and the charming misdirection of Derren Brown’s television shows combine in Ghost Stories to intrigue and terrify The Liverpool Playhouse audience.

Professor Goodman, played by the enigmatic Andy Nyman, delivers a lecture on paranormal investigation and whilst his methods appear scientific and rational his subject is anything but as he details three case studies of the unexplained.

 

The narrator comforts, questions and confuses the audience by asking them to admit to their fears and attitudes and theorising that those seeking to believe in something “other” are merely seducing themselves with the fantastic, rather than facing up to the more morose realities that the imagination would transform.

The dialogue is natural and convincing, prickling with humour and melancholy as the stories – confessions, memories brought to life – help build a sense of anxiety that all seems horribly real.

John Bausor’s set is frankly brilliant, turning and twisting for each scene so that the first patient, a night watchman played in a matter of fact, street wise fashion by David Cardy guides us through a supposedly derelict warehouse; followed by a gripping performance from Ryan Gage who plays a student navigating his car through a pitch black forest as the stage becomes a lattice work of tall trees lit by the headlights of his car. Finally a self-assured businessman, played with aggression and humour by Nicholas Burns is taken by the revolving stage into his soon-to-be-born child’s nursery.

Some of the costumes are blood-curdling when they appear from the shadows but the real catalyst for fear is Nick Manning’s sound effects which brutally punctuate the action.

The adrenaline pumping climax is perhaps a little bit drawn out, and a number of theatre-goers were not as absorbed by the show. Perhaps the hype of its scariness (Ghost Stories comes with several health warnings as well as an age limit) sets some people’s expectations too high. If you are brave enough to confront some demons from the safety of a theatre seat, then go d so before Ghost Stories disappears and all that’s left are the spectral memories of a truly engaging piece of theatre.

- Luke Carragher

BIO: LUKE CARRAGHER
Luke Carragher is a writer, currently trying to hone his craft. He is a second-year creative writing student at John Moore’s University.

Luke is working on his first collection of short stories whilst looking for any opportunities to carve out a career path – whether that be writing reviews, fiction, or screenplays.

 

Everyman Liverpool Playhouse official website
www.everymanplayhouse.com


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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
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