Wednesday, 29 January 2020

REVIEW: Ghost Stories at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking

First a play and more recently a film, Ghost Stories has been frightening audiences for the best part of ten years and his currently out on its first UK tour.

Written by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman, much of the show’s success has centred around audiences (and critics) keeping its contents under wraps and spoiler-free with little known about the show in publicity or on social media.

With a cast of just 4 actors, the show is a taut, tight 80 minutes long and is full of thrills and jumps but plenty of laughs too. It’s easy to see Dyson’s style all over this when you remember he is one of the talents behind dark comedy The League of Gentleman, and fans of that show and Inside No.9 would love this play.

Intertwining 3 different ghost stories presented by lecturer Professor Goodman, the show uses effective and clever effects without ever letting them detract from the story or be in place of good writing or performances. 

The stories really do take centre stage and all the cast perform their tales (delivered almost in monologue style) with strength and ease. Joshua Higgot plays Professor Goodman with natural warmth and control, newcomer Gus Gordon brings a youthfulness and nativity to Simon Rifkind while Paul Hawkyard gets plenty of laughs as Tony Matthews. The strongest character is probably
Mike Priddle played by Richard Sutton who relishes the pompous, arrogant side of the character but plays it with a smile and adds some light touches into a dark story.

There’s been many other horror plays on stage; notably the long-running Woman in Black and more recently The Exorcist, but this stands head and shoulders above the rest. This is witty, tense and the perfect length for a show that will get your heart racing rather than give you long-lasting nightmares. The production utilises great lighting, sound and other effects to give your senses a real feast.

You don’t quite know what to expect when you enter, and the secrets are held safe when you leave. For a fun, jumpy and engrossing night out, don’t miss Ghost Stories. 

Review by Andy Edmeads

Rating: ★★★★★

Seat: C3 | Price of Ticket: £40
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