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 of Ghost Stories.
The show was written by award-winning actor, director and writer Andy Nyman alongside Jeremy Dyson, who was also a member of the comedy group The League of Gentlemen.
The play runs at The Lowry theatre in Salford for five nights of terrifying performances.
Described on The Lowry website as “a fully sensory and electrifying encounter”, I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting, but in fact I was pleasantly surprised.
As I entered The Lowry, the atmosphere crackled with excitement. People could be heard chatting in excited tones about ghosts and their fears. Who’d be the most scared out of the group? Who would scream first?
Screams, shivers, you name it – it’s experienced from start (and when I say start, I mean start, there’s no moment of relaxation as the lights turn dim) to finish.
Screams, shrieks, heads in hands. The fear of looking just overturned by the urge to know what is happening on stage and your surroundings.
There’s never a moment to relax, and as an audience member you’re constantly anticipating the next scare. I wasn’t sure during the first 10 minutes where the production would go in terms of how could this end? But it was done expertly and I haven’t stopped thinking about the fantastic ending since.
Requests to keep the suspense and secrets of Ghost Stories alive and the plots a secret from the public are understandable.
I will tease is the story is split into three parts, with a spine chilling haunting being played out with an attempt to rationalise them being made by a Parapsychologist Professor Goodman played by Joshua Higgott.
What surprised me the most about the was how comedic it was. Despite the title, the warnings, the scares there were moments that had the whole crowd howling with laughter.
The character Simon Rifkind, portrayed by Gus Gordon who makes his professional stage debut in Ghost Stories, is unbelievably funny and had the whole audience chuckling away.
Professor Goodman is fantastic, he commands the stage with ease, impossible to disengage from. He had a fantastic presence.
In scenes alongside Mike Priddle (portrayed by Richard Sutton) you feel fear from both characters, you feel pain.
The abilities of these actors left sitting in utter awe. Paul Hawkyard is fantastic as Tony Matthews, he’s hilarious and tremendously convincing on stage.
Ghost Stories is scary, it’s terrifying at times yet laugh-out-loud funny at others.
What cannot be missed is the chilling atmosphere brought in by the creative team. From lighting, to set design, to sound. The atmosphere created is stunningly eerie.
It was clearly a hit amongst the audience, with people tweeting positive reactions to the show. With one audience member too frightened to sleep with the light off afterwards and another stating 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
I urge anyone who believes they can take it to see this production, but before you go, you must ask yourself: Are you truly brave enough?
Tickets can be purchased for the performance at The Lowry Theatre in Salford here.