I saw this with a group of friends. We were sitting in the back row and have never screamed so much in our lives! Really good fun, but also really jumpy - mixture of joy and terror!
Until Sun Jan 18 2015
© Dan Wooller
Philip Whitchurch (Tony Matthews)
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Fri Feb 28 2014
Back to make the West End wet itself once again, Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman’s ‘Ghost Stories’ is the perfect fit for the gloomy, subterranean Arts Theatre. As before, the production is shrouded in playful secrecy, with audiences sworn to silence lest they ruin the experience for future punters. The theatre has received a creepy makeover and there are night vision cameras trained on the hyped-up crowd to record their anticipated screams.
It’s always been three parts ride to one part play, and while the script remains largely unchanged, Dyson, Nyman and director Sean Holmes have upped the shock factor for this latest outing, with mixed results.
The ghostly recollections of Professor Goodman are a warm and affectionate tribute to the horror anthologies of the 1970s, mixing contemporary comic detail with a patina of vintage schlock. There’s also a pervasive sense of loneliness and quiet despair to the early scenes that Dyson and Nyman colour skilfully.
The problem with this latest production is that much of this detail and atmosphere is drowned out by a cast that spend too long mugging for laughs and an overenthusiastic application of loud noises in the dark. Moments of creeping unease are frequently goofed by a campy reveal or cheap giggle. Too much of the horror is played for the scare cams, rather than the audience’s hearts and minds.
There’s some stunning effects work by Scott Penrose, however, and Nick Manning’s brilliant sound design is responsible for many of the show’s biggest and best scares. And for a final twist of unease, lead actor Paul Kemp plays the good Professor as a dead spit for Nigel Farage. Now THAT’S scary.
‘Ghost Stories’ is never less than thoroughly, pulse-poundingly entertaining, even if it’s not quite the pedigree spook show it once was.
Arts Theatre 6-7 Great Newport St
- Event phone:
020 7836 8463
- Event website:
Theatre. Drama. West End
Ghost Stories 2014 - 2015
Average User Rating
5 / 5
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"Ghost Stories" fits superbly into the industrial feel black box auditorium of the Arts theatre, much better than when it was at the Duke of Yorks. Very atmospheric, very scary and what I expected and sadly lacking from "The Weir" I got tonight in "Ghost Stories" - true horror and chills to put you on the edge of your seat. Not for the faint hearted, and tonight I shall make sure the bedroom curtains are well and truly closed - any slight crack of light peeking through will make me have have nightmares. Go see "Ghost Stories" but be prepared to be truly scared! Loved it
The atmosphere starts in the lobby, with horrific decor. Recommendation - go to the toilet beforehand. Why? It's right beside the auditorium, and the background track - I wouldn't really call it music - that plays before the show is piped in there too. It's quite a surreal experience to go to the toilet to the accompaniment of loud dripping sounds, clanking, moaning.. The description of the show format from 2010 still holds true. It's the same format. I can't vouch for whether it's the same show - I suppose not. It starts with quite an interesting lecture, followed by re-enactments of three experiences that the "professor" had told to him. Mostly for laughs, these - but the end of the show is truly creepy. Go see! If you like a decent scare, you will not be disappointed.