Spooky things are happening on stage. The lighting is dim, and you peer through the gloom. There at the back, is that... alive? Did it used to be? Then the lights go out, and the theatre is plunged into darkness. But it's only a play, isn't it? Nothing can get you while you're safe in your seat, right? Right?
This is Ghost Stories, a British horror-themed play written by Jeremy Dyson (The League of Gentlemen) and Andy Nyman (Derren Brown TV and live shows, Peaky Blinders) that has played in London for many years, including in the West End.
The producers are keeping their spooky surprises a secret, but there will be scares aplenty during the five-week season of Ghost Stories at the Athenaeum. This is the first time the West End version has come to Australia, though other iterations of the show have visited our shores in the past.
“You haven’t experienced horror until you’ve seen it live on stage,” says Nathan Alexander, producer at Realscape Productions, which is presenting the Australian version. “The show is thrilling, chilling and we couldn’t be more excited for Australia to experience the rollercoaster that is Ghost Stories.”
Will there be jump scares? Based on the trailer on the website, almost certainly. Will there be creeps, crawls and general bumps in the night? Most definitely. The show comes with a warning label that it's not for the faint of heart or those with nerve conditions.
Fearless Melburnians can see Ghost Stories from October 5 to November 13 at the Athenaeum, with tickets on sale now. If you think you've got what it takes, get ready for scary times ahead. And remember, it's only a play.... It's only a play...