Thanks to the New Theatre for inviting us along in exchange for this review.
GHOST Stories, the West-End phenomenon is set to terrify Welsh audiences this week as it arrives at the New Theatre, Cardiff.
After exhilarating audiences across the globe, Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman’s Ghost Stories has been turned into a film and is now on its first ever UK tour. If you search for the production online, you will find out very little about it. Audiences are sworn to secrecy, so if you want to unlock the wonders and nightmarish encounters, you’ll have to go and see it for yourself.
However, what I can tell you is that this is a very clever and thought out production where your deepest and darkest fears are put to the test – all live on stage.
The terrifying encounters are told by three percipients, with the help of narrator Joshua Higgott as Professor Goodman. The stories come to life with brilliant performances from Paul Hawkyard as Tony Matthews, Gus Gordon as Simon Rifkind and Richard Sutton as Mike Priddle. They bring realism to their characters and you’ll hang on every word that they say, as you attempt to second guess their next move.
Ghost Stories offers you a full sensory experience that begins before you even enter the theatre. I dare say, if you’re reading this review, your journey has already begun.
In addition to the special effects and magnificent production value you get from this, we can’t forget that this is set in the beautiful New Theatre, which itself is more than 100 years old. I suspect, many of the audience this week will have visited this Cardiff theatre on many occasions – I put myself in that category. Your experiences of this theatre from its gorgeous architecture to knowing its history, will only add to your experience. I imagine if the walls in this place could talk, it would have a few stories of its own.
The show does come with a few warnings, as it isn’t for the faint hearted. There is a strict no admittance once the show has started, and if you do need to get up and use the toilet, you won’t be let back in. That’s right, you are essentially in lock down for the next 90 minutes.
It isn’t often I come across a production that appeals to a wide audience. Yes, you will find yourself on the edge-of-your-seat, and yes, even the bravest of souls will be left in suspense. Expect screams from the audience and movement of your seats, as you and others are made to jump (disclaimer: your seats don’t actually move, but the creaking of your seats sound real freaky). But, these oohs and ahhs are mixed with laughter too. It offers a theatrical experience like no other.
Do you consider yourself brave? Come and find out…
There is an age guidance of 15+ and for good reason, your little ones can sit this one out.
Ghost Stories is showing at the New Theatre in Cardiff until Saturday 29th February 2020. Book your ticket (if you’re brave enough) here.