The Ghost Hunter review at The Old Red Lion Theatre London
Telling ghost stories might sound to many children like something that happened before The X Factor was invented. But Theatre of the Damned are doing its damndest to show that suspense drama is still very much alive and well.
Stewart Pringle’s latest drama examines why we tell ghost stories and where they come from. Tom Richards’ top hat and cape-clad Richard Barraclough is sitting alone in a pub doing what he does best: scaring punters with frightening tales. The masterful storyteller has you gripped from his very first “they came after midnight…” right up to his unexpected loo break.
Jeffrey Mayhew’s direction is faultless. The contrast between Richards’ quiet raised eyebrow and booming tour guide voice shows off both the solo performer’s considerable talent and Pringle’s varied writing. The Old Red Lion is also the perfect venue. Creaks and noises work their way up from the pub below at the tensest moments, and Richards holds eye contact for an almost uncomfortably long time with every member of the audience.
The Ghost Hunter does perhaps lag a tiny bit 10 minutes from the end. But, as with all good scary tales it’s the pay-off that counts. And Theatre of the Damned make sure they keep you on the edge of your seat right up to the final line.
The Old Red Lion Theatre, London, April 30-May 25
- Stewart Pringle
- Jeffrey Mayhew
- George Warren
- Tom Richards
- Running time