How do you review a show that asks you to keep its secrets? What do you say about a show that in over 450, 000 performances has managed to keep the plot points and storylines a mystery? Where do you draw the line between talking about the show and maintaining the enigma?
I can tell you that written by Jeremy Dyson (The League of Gentleman) and Andy Nyman (writer of the Derren Brown shows), Ghost Stories is unlike any theatre production I’ve ever seen.
In 80 solid minutes, it invites you to “play a game with fear”.
I may also mention that debuting in the UK in 2010 and re-invented for its Australian debut, Ghost Stories brings to the stage elements of a comedy, drama, psychological thriller and horror story all in one.
Let’s talk about how narrated by Professor Philip Goodman (Lynden Jones), we are taken from what feels like a university lecture into the very heart of three ghost stories. Tony Matthews (John Gregg), Mike Priddle (Ben Wood) & Simon Rifkind (Aleks Mikic) share their memories with Professor Goodman and they are played out on stage, aided by quite effective sets, lighting and sound.
I’d be remiss not to mention how impressed I was with the staging and overall atmosphere. Given the nature of the show, I wouldn’t expect any less. The set transition and use of the Drama Theatre stage was particularly well done.
I will touch upon how much I enjoyed Wood’s performance in particular. His character was full of twists and turns and subtle nuances that I found very engaging.
What else can I say without spoiling the show?
I can say that if you like horror stories, this is a show for you. If you like a bit of mystery, this is a show for you. If you enjoy seeing talented actors on stage, this is a show for you.
Was I scared? Yes. But beyond that, Ghost Stories makes you think about reality, perception, your fears and the truth.
I may be sleeping with the night light on tonight…
Ghost Stories plays at the Sydney Opera House Drama Theatre until Saturday 15 August.
Tickets start from $50 and can be purchased here.