Ghost Stories Review | The Lowry | Manchester
The Lowry theatre has transformed into a haunted house, with the League of Gentleman’s Jeremy Dyson and Derren Brown collaborator, Andy Nyman conjuring forces onto the stage for a night of terrifying truths. Constricting you to your seat and forcing you to face your fear of the others, the pair paint a picture of vengeful ghosts within real-world scenarios.
Hosted by a sceptic who repeats that “the brain sees what it wants to see”, Ghost Stories explores three unsolved tales of paranormal activity that hang on a ring of truth. We follow Dr Goodman, a Professor of Parapsychology (Joshua Higgott), who investigates and debunks Casper’s on a daily basis. As we sit in on one of his lectures that features the scienceofghosts.com, we listen in on the recordings of three interviews, with the production playing back the tales of a night watchman, a disgruntled teenager and a businessman live on stage.
Under the shadows, audiences are left to self-inflict their discomfort. Using the power of our own nervous energy and over eagerness to build up the notorious, but nevertheless, still cringeworthy jumps scares that playout throughout the production. For a straight hour and forty minutes, the show challenges the audience to doubt their cynicism, with Dr Goodman appearing less persuasive as each insidious story is told.
Using the power of suggestion, the co-writer behind many of Derren Brown’s productions harness our relatable fears by giving all audience members the sixth sense. Torturing us with blackouts, fairground tricks and captivating storytelling, Dyson and Nyman nod to Hitchcockian mechanics, filtering the narratives through classic scare techniques to ensure the audience do the rest of the work.
Lovers of the horror genre and fraidy-cats will be equally entertained by the humour and inventive setups of Ghost Stories three fables. Often told under a spotlight, the enthralling stage production startles its shrieking audience under a spooky, yet fantastically British tone that continues to hold the humour of the situation closely.
Despite a 2017 film adaptation starring Paul Whitehouse, Alex Lawther, and Martin Freeman, the British horror continues to gather audiences a decade after its initial release. Bounding into the crowd and entwining the malevolent spirits with its unsuspected audience, the tension-filled production continues to revitalise classic ghost stories. Unsuitable for under 15’s, Ghost Stories is a night of intense and engaging classic tales, promising to keep you unsettled throughout.