Writer: Stewart Pringle
Director: Jeffrey Mayhew
Reviewer: Paul Downham
Richard Barraclough sits on a lonely bar stool with just a pint of Abbot Ale for company as he recounts the many stories he has told during his days as a Ghost Hunter in the city of York.
The hunter, effortlessly played by Tom Richards guides the attentive audience for an hour around the streets of York and the many ghostly stories that lie behind the closed doors and beyond. Due to the excellent script by Stewart Pringle you are never quite sure just where the story will turn next as this failed actor tries to forge a new career.
Dressed in traditional Victorian costume you hear ultimately why ghost tours in such cities are popular, and the commercial value they bring to both the area and the vendors. This is not a play about ghost stories but more about the characters behind them. Limited but effective audience interaction adds to the mystery of the evening, and a slice of good old Yorkshire humour brings laughter from the capacity audience.
But it is the spine chilling stories from a landscape where graveyards were built upon graveyards that has the audience sat bolt upright hanging onto every word uttered by Richards as he works his way down his pint of Ale. Even a seemingly impromptu toilet break adds suspense. Richards is captivating in his delivery recalling the mass murder of the Jewish population in York to the tapping on the wardrobe door, all told in excruciating detail
If anything the story which forms the finale of the piece seems to drag on a touch too long. It is very much up to the individual if you go away from the experience frightened or not, but for sure you will be amused and shocked at times in what is a thought provoking piece of theatre.
Photo: John Roberts | Reviewed on 19th April 2014