Ghost Stories’ is a quirky and original play written by Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson that has been reinvented and redesigned for Australian audiences.
It is cleverly narrated by Professor Goodman (Lynden Jones) who strides onto stage as though giving a lecture.
In his many decades as a parapsychologist there are three stories he deems remarkable enough to relay.
The audience is left rattled when the play begins with a slideshow of photos flashed on the screen that would have Maxwell Smart commenting ‘That old array of photos surreptitiously used to scare the living daylights out of us trick’.
Fasten your seatbelts and get ready for the ride ahead.
All three stories seek to address our innate fear and the staging is instrumental in conveying this.
The first scene centres around a nightwatchman (John Gregg) who is surrounded by mannequins, doors and keys, in his place of work, all of which are symbolic in order to scare.
Secondly, is a dicey scenario of a young man (Alek Mikic) who lives with his parents, has just left a party and is driving home, which we are told is an hour away.
In the third scene, the play takes a more sinister tone, involving a businessman (Ben Wood) glued to his phone, a baby’s nursery, and later a psychiatric hospital. In this scene there is a strong emphasis on Karma, in that every action has a reaction.
Each of the stories are prefaced with the professor’s cynical musings of the mind and our perceptions.
‘Ghost Stories’ is a collaborative effort, that results in a lovely pace that uses restraint well. The performances are solid and the show is suprisingly funny due to some great characters and absurd moments.
Directed by Peter J Snee
Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House, July 13. Until August 15