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Monday, 17 October 2022

REVIEW: The Canterville Ghost at the Southwark Playhouse

‘Tall stories’ was founded in 1997 by Toby Mitchell and Olivia Jacobs who have created and adapted productions for audiences of all ages ever since. The award-winning theatre company are recognised for their ability to combine original music with effective and immersive storytelling. The company have previously adapted Oscar Wilde’s fairy tales for their production of ‘Wilde Creatures’, so it seemed natural for them to adapt one of his ghost stories for the Halloween season.

The Canterville Ghost (1887), was the first of Oscar Wilde’s short comedic stories to have been published. The plot revolves around a family who moved to a castle which is haunted by the ghost of an English Nobleman who had resided in the castle 300 years before. This ghost had murdered his wife and then been tortured and starved to death in the chamber by his wife’s brothers. Jacobs and Mitchell’s adaptation intertwines with the ‘Old Music Hall’ genre. We meet four Victorian music hall performers who act out Wilde’s story alongside their own individual music hall acts; The Comedian (Matt Jopling), The Illusionist (Callum Patrick Hughes), The Psychic (Katie Tranter), and The Compere (Steve Watts).
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