Directed by Dyson, Nyman and Sean Holmes (who first programmed the show back in 2010), this is one of those shows where everything works in perfect unison. The foundations are laid beautifully with Jon Bausor’s stage design; built on by James Farncombe’s lighting design and Nick Manning’s sound design; and brought to life by a fantastic cast.
Simon Lipkin’s Professor Goodman, an expert in parapsychology, takes the audience through three stories that have stuck with him through his career. The show is part lecture, part monologue anthology as the stories are told: creepy goings-on in abandoned asylums; things that go bump in the middle of a forest on a foggy night; supernatural events in nurseries.
Bausor’s design is no small achievement with a dedicated backdrop for each tale that is told. It manages to convey the sense of a large space, funnelled onto a stage that is comparably much smaller. Farncombe’s lighting, combined with Manning’s sound, blurs the line between audience and performance, pulling the audience into the show and providing as immersive an experience as one can get in a proscenium arch style show.
Ghost Stories is best experienced with no prior knowledge of the secrets of the show, so I feel I must remain vague and allow the show to speak for itself. Though I will say that the devil is in the details with this show, and the creative team pay very close attention to the details.
If you’ve managed to somehow miss one of the many iterations of Ghost Stories, now is the time to experience the thrills and scares for yourself. For the most experienced of horror aficionados, the screams may be few and far between, but the craftsmanship is something to be admired. For the less steely-nerved, this show offers a juicy amount of well-thought-out scares in a masterfully delivered package. And for those of a nervous disposition… bring a friend, preferably with a hand strong enough to squeeze.
Ghost Stories is playing until 18 May. For more information and tickets, visit the Lyric Hammersmith website.