There is something about a good ghost story that appeals to us all. The spookier and freakier the story, the more likely we are to share it with others (with some exaggeration perhaps). Preparing myself for a night of fright, I had high expectations for the theatrical production of Ghost Stories. A cold and blustery Melbourne winter night set the scene and I was braced to be terrified.
The plot focuses on a professor of the paranormal re-living interviews with alleged “perceivers”. As I learnt, a perceiver is a term for someone who has reported a ghost experience. Their experiences are re-enacted in an entertaining way which really draws in the audience. You know a ghost or spirit is going to make an appearance and can feel the focus and anticipation building in the audience waiting for the big moment.
The professor makes you feel you are engaged in a personal conversation and draws participation from the audience, questioning who believes in ghosts and who has had a paranormal experience. There is a brief history of ghost stories, from religious association, to the development of photography to the rise of ghost stories via the internet.
With a cast of four, the production’s success relies on the excellent actors (what a range of accents mastered) and some creative music and effects.
It poses some interesting questions. Do ghosts exist or do we read too much into images, believing what our imagination presents in stressful situations? How does a sighting impact on a perceiver?
Ghost Stories in an entertaining and thought provoking show. Expect a twist and some debate about the true identity of the professor. I will say no more.
Laughter, suspense and intrigue abound. Expecting to be scared out of my wits, I felt no fear and there were no screams from the audience as reported at other performances. Thrilling rather than terrifying, Ghost Stories takes on a popular genre in a creative way. Despite the absence of terror, there are definitely some pulse raising moments. Plus, I am still thinking about the ending.
Celebrating 4 years living in Melbourne, Rachel is a fan of theatre, food, the outdoors and all things new and exciting.
‘Ghost Stories’ runs 26 July – 6 August 2016 at the National Theatre.
Purchase tickets now.
The venue is accessible.
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Prince Mood Productions.