Ghost Stories, the frighteningly fantastic West End phenomenon, made its debut at The Lowry last night to a full crowd of intrigued viewers.
Wet dark weather only seemed fitting as we made our way to the opening night.
The production was written by award-winning actor, director and writer Andy Nyman alongside Jeremy Dyson, a member of the comedy group The League of Gentlemen.
The Lowry website had described Ghost Stories as “A fully sensory and electrifying encounter”, so no-one was really sure what to expect but overall I was beyond pleasantly surprised.
The atmosphere crackled with excitement. Who would be the most scared out of the group? Who would scream first?
Screams, shivers, you name it – it’s experienced from the start – and I mean start. There wasn’t a moment of relaxation from when the lights dim to the very end.
Terrified viewers hid behind their hands, peeking out every so often overcome by the urge to see what was happening.
The audience was constantly anticipating the next scare and unsure during the first 10 minutes of where the production would go, and particularly how it would end.
Requests to keep the suspense and secrets of Ghost Stories are understandable. No spoiler alert here.
Enough to say that three spine-chilling hauntings were played out followed by an attempt to rationalise them by a parapsychologist Professor Goodman portrayed by Joshua Higgott.
Surprisingly the show was simultaneously hilarious. Despite the title, the warnings, the scares, there were moments that had the whole audience howling with laughter.
The character Simon Rifkind, portrayed by Gus Gordon making his professional stage debut, was unbelievably funny and had the whole audience chuckling away.
Professor Goodman was fantastic. He commanded the stage with ease, impossible to disengage from. He had a fantastic presence.
In scenes alongside Mike Priddle (portrayed by Richard Sutton) you feel their fear; you feel their pain.
The abilities of these actors left us sitting in utter awe. Paul Hawkyard was also fantastic as Tony Matthews, being both hilarious and tremendously convincing.
Before the show, Paul chatted to us about his audition process, the show and working with Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson, check it out below!
Ghost Stories is scary – even terrifying at times – yet laugh-out-loud funny at others.
The creative team created a chilling atmosphere from the lighting, to set design, to sound. The atmosphere created was stunningly eerie.
It was without a doubt a hit with the audience, with praise all over social media after the show. One fan claimed to be too frightened to sleep with the light off afterwards and another said they “cannot overstate how good it was!”
— Matt Windsor Magic (@ThePickpocket) February 19, 2020
Had a fantastic evening with @quentook and Tweetless Boy seeing #GhostStories at the Lowry. CANNOT overstate how good it was. By which I mean I really thought I would die at one point & wished I’d heeded the warnings to ‘those of a nervous disposition’, and may never sleep again.
— elena ? (@_femmedanger) February 18, 2020
Anyone who believes their nerves can take it should see this production, but before you go, ask yourself: Are you truly brave enough?
The play runs at The Lowry theatre in Salford for five nights of terrifying performances.
Tickets can be purchased for the performance at The Lowry Theatre in Salford here.