Previewed 13 February 2014, Opened 27 February 2014, Closed 15 March 2015 (no perforamnces from 18 August to 20 September 2014) at the Arts Theatre in London
Jeremy Dyson's and Andy Nyman's play Ghost Stories in London promising a truly terrifying theatrical 80 minute ride that will chill and thrill.
Mixing the very best of theatre with the buzz of a thrill-ride, delivering something truly unique. With some new moments of shock, this revival promises more jolts than ever. You havenít seen horror, until youíve seen it live... WARNING: Please be advised that that this production contains moments of extreme shock and tension. The show is unsuitable for anyone under the age of 15. We strongly advise those of a nervous disposition to think very seriously before attending.
Ghost Stories returns to London following an extended season from 2010 to 2011 at the West End's Duke of York's Theatre and a six month run in 2014 at the Arts Theatre. Written by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman and directed by Jeremy Dyson, Andy Nyman and Sean Holmes with designs by Jon Bausor, lighting by James Farncombe and sound by Nick Manning. Jeremy Dyson is best known as part of The League of Gentlemen while Andy Nyman is the co-creator and director of Derren Brown's television and stage shows as well as the star of Dead Set and Severance.
When this production opened in the West End in 2010 Dominic Maxwell in the Times said that "Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman's horror play does a fine job of intriguing, amusing, unsettling and, yes, scaring the willies out of you... But at only 80 minutes, it's short, sharp and shockingly good fun." Alun Palmer in the Daily Mirror wrote that the "creators Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson hark back to an era when frights weren't just about slaughtered teens. Modern special effects at the Duke of York's Theatre in the West End combined with old-fashioned storytelling bring the creepy moments that will make this a fixture for years to come." In the Guardian Maddy Costa explained that "at the heart of Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman's Ghost Stories is a thought-provoking and emotionally moving proposition: that paranormal phenomena do exist, but they are mind tricks played by a consciousness overwhelmed by feelings of guilt or inadequacy and the fear of being found out. When the production was originlly seen in London at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith Charles Spencer in the Daily Telegraph described how "for 80 interval-free minutes the tension is ratcheted up with great skill and some stunning coups de theatre that leave the audience with mouths agape... the brilliant and deeply unsettling conclusion draws together all the disparate strands of this apparently episodic show with a diabolical panache that leaves the viewer feeling seriously spooked." Henry Hitchings in the London Evening Standard noted that "the mood has been carefully created. Jon Bausorís design is intelligently spare, highlighting only a handful of details pertinent to each percipientís narrative. James Farncombeís lighting accentuates contrasts, while Nick Manning has conjured a disquieting soundscape, and Scott Penroseís special effects are foxily precise." Sarah Hemming in the Financial Times commented that "it is a droll evening, playing on the tingling excitement of waiting to be scared." Julie Carpenter in the Daily Express thought that "it works so well: it is horribly, brilliantly scary... there is a hauntingly macabre twist. Suspense is built up slowly so that when the horrifying moments come your heart is already in your mouth. The play borrows from a number of horror films but if it relies on well-established thrills and effects it delivers to the core. Don't go alone." Quentin Lett in the Daily Mail thought that "this pant-wetter of a night is a must for masochists. Anyone with a dicky heart should avoid it." Paul Taylor in the Independent explained that "though lethally well-paced in its visceral scariness" it "proved to be more a fascinating think-piece - as technically dazzling as it is morally teasing - than the stuff of ongoing future nightmares... I 'enjoyed' every creepy minute."
"The publicity material for Ghost Stories proclaims the play 'unsuitable for anyone under the age of 16'. I'm not so sure. Teens, horror junkies and anyone who thinks the aim of frightening the pants off an audience is not to be sniffed at will find plenty to relish here. Written and directed by Andy Nyman and The League of Gentlemen's Jeremy Dyson, the show generates genuine scary fun... This is not a play that will haunt you after you turn out the light, but it uses a nice line in ghoulish humour to enhance its frights. Nyman gives a mischievous performance as the sweaty-browed prof, and the staging, with its clever sliding sets and sounds of echoey gasps and moans, stokes up the dread." The Sunday Times
"Billed as 'a truly terrifying theatrical experience that will chill and thrill in equal measure... You'll be sleeping with the light on for weeks!', it sounds like everyone's favourite nightmare come true. Of course, the production has been shrouded in secrecy - and I don't intend to give anything away except that the cautions have been wildly overstated. I don't think that 'any woman in an advanced state of pregnancy', nor those of 'a nervous disposition' will be unduly rattled. As for the banning of the under-16s - that's probably very sensible because most of them are scary enough to upstage even the most bloodcurdling special effects. That and the fact that this show would, at best, make them scream with laughter or, worse, derision... It's perfectly absorbing and atmospheric and some of the illusions are well done. But I jumped just once - I don't think it's spoiling anything to say that that was at what I'd call a poltergeist moment - and I giggled several times because the show's often (and intentionally) funny." The Mail on Sunday
"I recall Sir Christopher Lee telling me there was never any laughter on the sets of his old Hammer films: even the smallest trace of a smirk would, as he knew well, have proved deadlier to Dracula than any amount of garlic. Jeremy Dyson, Sean Holmes and Andy Nyman, the directors of the Lyric Hammersmith and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse production of Ghost Stories , serve up their tales of terror with the same commendable degree of earnestness... The best of his stories concerns a caretaker named Tony who hears something that goes bump in the night. The tension mounts brilliantly as he searches his warehouse with his torch. I felt the hairs rising on the back of my neck: always a sign in this genre that things are working rather well." The Sunday Telegraph
The original production was presented at the Liverpool Playhouse Theatre in February 2010 and then the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith from March to April 2010 prior to transferring to the Duke of York's Theatre where it previewed from 25 June 2010, opened on 13 July 2010 and run for an extended season up to 16 July 2011. It was directed by Jeremy Dyson, Sean Holmes and Andy Nyman with designs by Jon Bausor, lighting by James Farncombe and sound by Nick Manning.
Ghost Stories in London at the Arts Theatre previewed from 13 February 2014, opened on 27 February 2014 and closed on 17 August 2014, returned from 21 September 2014 and closed on 15 March 2015.