The Battersea Poltergeist – Live! – The Clapham Grand, London

Reviewer: Mike Wells

 Writer and Creator: Danny Robins

The Battersea Poltergeist was first a podcast phenomenon, which followed the tale of strange goings on in a house in Battersea in the 1950’s-60’s. The legend is of Britain’s strangest haunting, which focussed on 15-year-old Shirley Hitchens and the poltergeist, affectionately named Donald who haunted her and her family. The BBC series was downloaded in the millions and went as viral as the original case, being talked about on both sides of the pond as well as Down Under.

Hosted by the very charismatic Danny Robins, the live show retells all the important details with a little theatre thrown in for good measure. The show also sees Evelyn Hollow and Ciaran O’Keeffe, the experts featured on the podcast, chipping in with their professional views. On the evening the show was held in Battersea itself we were also blessed with the attendance of Shirley herself who was on hand to answer questions.

For those who have listened to the podcast, the live show doesn’t cover much in the way of new ground in the first half, although a couple of live audience-interaction experiments are a nice way of illustrating some key points of contention. The second half is devoted to answering audience questions submitted during the interval and the reveal of a few new eyewitness accounts of similarly unusual events which took place nearby in far more recent times. While the new additions are unlikely to influence believers or sceptics to change their mind, for those on the fence it might be enough to sway opinion one way or the other.

The Clapham Grand is a fabulous venue, which, thanks to renovations in the 1990’s, looks just as it would have done to young Shirley when she visited the music hall in her youth. With a long bar at the back of the stalls and a variety of seating options, it’s a very sociable space, perfectly suited to this kind of show.

For those who haven’t listened to the podcast before, the retelling of events is thorough enough for you to have just as good an evening. Like the podcast, the show divides opinion between the sceptics and the believers, but regardless of your view, it’s good entertainment. If you enjoyed the podcast, you’ll enjoy this too.

Continues to tour

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The Reviews Hub London is under the acting editorship of Richard Maguire. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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