Thursday, 18 March 2010

things that go bump

If I’m being totally honest, most theatre – and I’m not what you would call a regular visitor – leaves me pretty cold. I’m usually sitting there, feeling a bit like the guys in Peep Show: I can't believe coming here costs more than a film...

Not this week though.

This week I saw Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson’s horror portmanteau ‘Ghost Stories’ at the Lyric in Hammersmith and well, it was just great. It’s the absolute definition of what live theatre should be - totally involving and absorbing, with top notch set design, performances, sound and visuals.

It’s also genuinely spooky - more fun scares than psychological terror, which is as it should be given the tradition Nyman and Dyson are working from. I’ll say nothing more of the content. It’s creepier than the ‘Woman in Black’ stage show though. And ‘Paranormal Activity’.

A couple of years back another of those clever League of Gentlemen Mark Gatiss tried his hand at the portmanteau format for television – with the beautifully made MR James tribute ‘Crooked House’. It was wittily written, nicely played and handsomely staged but unfortunately, for whatever reason, it just wasn’t scary. Maybe Gatiss could get Dyson involved for another set. Nyman appeared in Crooked House if I remember rightly?

Anyway, go see Stories before it closes on April 3. It should get a West End transfer, but because it is in no way facile, has no one dressed as a tiger and Ben Elton has no involvement I wouldn’t count on it.


  1. I saw this on Tues night with Mike and Kim and enjoyed it too... run has just been extended until 17th April.

  2. Great news Phil, good to hear. The LEAST it deserves.