The Ghost Hunter

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John Garfield-Roberts

If there’s something strange in your neighbourhood, the ghost hunters won’t even need calling. They’ll already be there, herding tourists into dank corners and peddling their hokum for a fiver a pop.

Decked out in ersatz Victoriana, Richard sits in a pub and divulges the trade secrets of the ghost tour. He’s a sad but strangely noble figure: a failed actor and reformed (ish) alcoholic, who has, for 25 years, dedicated his life and his facial hair to this peculiar art. He’s almost a ghost himself: out of step with modernity and haunting the same spots over and over.

Stewart Pringle’s monologue, performed with total control by Tom Richards, doesn’t try to chill your bones. It’s an intricate study into why we tell ghost stories and an ode to the raconteur’s art. These tales have roots in real-life tragedies; they’re ‘stitches when a town cuts itself open.’

Slowly, Pringle hooks you in, smartly undercutting the macabre with a nudge of humour: Body Shop poltergeists and hen party hooliganism. Evident affection outweighs the limited scope and even those normally left cold by spine-tinglers will find themselves engrossed.

Matt Trueman

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