Ghost Stories (play)
|Written by||Jeremy Dyson & Andy Nyman|
|Date premiered||4 February 2010|
|Place premiered||Liverpool Playhouse, Liverpool|
Ghost Stories is a play written by Jeremy Dyson (of The League Of Gentlemen) and Andy Nyman (best known for his work with psychological illusionist Derren Brown). It premiered at the Liverpool Playhouse in February 2010 before being transferred for a longer run at the Lyric Hammersmith in London. It then transferred to the Duke of York's Theatre in the West End where it played from June 2010 to July 2011. The show re-opened at the Arts Theatre in February 2014 and ran until January 2015. In 2015 the show was produced at the Sydney Opera House before going on an Australian National Tour concluding at the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia in October 2016. In April 2019, the original creative team came together again to stage the production for an extended run at the Lyric Hammersmith.
The play is notable for running only 80 minutes (with no interval) and for its publicised warnings advising against anyone under the age of 15 attending. The marketing of the show outside the theatre is unusual in that there are no production photographs, just stills and video monitors showing the shocked reactions of audience members. An announcement at the end of the play asks the audience to "keep the secrets of Ghost Stories" so that new audiences do not have the experience spoiled with any prior information about the play.
A film adaptation premiered in 2017, starring Nyman in a reprisal of his role as Professor Phillip Goodman, Paul Whitehouse as the night watchman, Alex Lawther as the student and Martin Freeman as the businessman.
Reviews of the show have confined themselves to outlining the basic structure of the plot, which revolves around Dr Goodman, a Professor of Parapsychology (Andy Nyman) delivering a lecture on ghost stories. In the lecture he discusses a website featuring ghostly pictures, scienceofghosts.com. He has recorded interviews with three people who claim to have had a supernatural experience. Each story seems to hinge on guilty feelings. As each interview is played back, the story is re-enacted on stage. The stories are recounted by a night watchman, a teen driver and a businessman awaiting his first child. These stories are then drawn together at the end, with a twist, as it becomes clear that the Professor is a participant in the stories and not simply a narrator.
The script incorporates jump scares that echo similar scenes in celebrated horror films, including Don't Look Now, Halloween, Rosemary's Baby and Le Serpent. There are also echoes of the films of William Castle.
The creative team for the original run of the play were:
|Professor Phillip Goodman||Andy Nyman|
|Night Watchman||David Cardy|
|Written by||Jeremy Dyson & Andy Nyman|
|Directed by||Jeremy Dyson, Sean Holmes and Andy Nyman|
|Designed by||Jon Bausor|
|Lighting by||James Farncombe|
|Sound by||Nick Manning|
|Special Effects by||Scott Penrose|
The creative team for the Australian tour of the play were:
|Professor Phillip Goodman||Stuart Brennan|
|Night Watchman||Richard Moss|
|Written by||Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman|
|Directed by||Peter Snee & Jennifer Sarah Dean|
|Designed by||Jazz Wickson|
|Lighting by||Chris Page|
|Sound by||Lana Kristenson|
- "Ghost Stories (Duke of York's Theatre)". Retrieved 27 July 2011.
- "Ghost Stories Review". Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- Spencer, Charles (1 March 2010). "Ghost Stories at the Lyric Hammersmith, review". The Daily Telegraph. London: Hollinger International. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
- Bradshaw, Peter. "Ghost Stories review – Martin Freeman and Paul Whitehouse shine in dreamlike spookfest". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
- Gardner, Lyn (2 March 2010). "Ghost Stories: Lyric Hammersmith, London". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
- Phil; Andrew (3 March 2010). "Review - Ghost Stories, Lyric Hammersmith". West End Whingers. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
- Taylor, Paul (9 March 2010). "Ghost Stories, Lyric Hammersmith, London". The Independent. London: Independent Print. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
- Johnson, Angela (10 February 2010). "Review: Ghost Stories at the Liverpool Playhouse". Click Liverpool. Liverpool: Mecury[sic]Press Agency. Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 2010-09-03. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Official 'Ghost Stories' Website
- Ghost Stories at the Duke of York's Theatre Website
- Trailer, 17 March 2010