Reviewed by Frances Revel
Ever been to York? The city of ghosts, it owns the category when it comes to hauntings, spectres and spooky antics. And it was the source of inspiration for the latest production by Theatre of the Damned.
The Ghost Hunter is an hour long one man show – set exclusively in a pub somewhere in York. But in that time you feel like you’ve wandered the city’s streets in the dark at least three times over. Tom Richards plays Richard Barraclough – one of the many ghost tour operators in York, weaving the tale of his life alongside the supernatural stories that pepper his tour.
A bizarre combination of grim, Yorkshire wit alongside suspense-laden ghost stories, the script is tight, intense and unrelenting. Richards’ performance keeps you engaged throughout, alternating between acting the fool and chilling you to the bone with his use of audience eye contact.
The plot is clever and twisted; leaving the audience scratching their heads and debating whether what happened, really happened, or not. The supernatural is embedded within the everyday and ordinary, and this only serves to further bring the story to life.
As a venue, the Old Red Lion has charm. Just one of Islington’s well-regarded theatre pubs, its the kind of place where the carpet matches the walls and you sit on red velvet padded benches – transported back in time by this alone. Worth keeping an eye on the listings, I’d rate it above and beyond similar theatres for the venue space alone.
All in all, my friend and I were pleasantly surprised by this professionally conducted, beautifully staged piece of theatre, and would urge you to see it before the end of the run.
The Ghost Hunter plays at the Old Red Lion Theatre until 25th May. For more information and to book tickets click here