Will Seaward's Spooky Midnight Ghost Stories IV

There has never been a more perfect match for the phrase ‘larger than life’ than Will Seaward. Adorned in purple velvet as he welcomes us into the room with a great big booming voice, Will is a true showman (although I get the feeling that this persona is the real person and not just an act). With great relish he takes to the stage and informs us of the horrors lying ahead: he is, of course, referring to the demons of the story we are about to witness, but you could be forgiven in thinking he meant the production.

Will Seaward’s Spooky Midnight Ghost Stories IV is a roller ghoster of emotions.

Opening a book of demons, he begins to read the first chapter: it is an entertaining (if not a little convoluted) prose, full of all manner of comedic and hideous beings. Though Will excelled as a storyteller, I couldn’t help but get a little lost as the plot progressed. When the only way of collecting information is from a continual monologue it is very easy to get lost. If you mishear, drift off (it is midnight, after all) or simply don’t understand there is no chance of catching up; just doing your best to slip into the flow at a later point.

The story finishes on a cliff-hanger, and the remaining time of the show is dedicated to following clues to find the other half of the text. To say more than this would to be give away the mysterious secrets of the tale; but a fair summary of the night would be an hour of entertaining silliness, despite the few ghosts thrown in to disturb us.

In an especially amusing scene, Will takes us through a séance. Suddenly a spirit has made contact: we are in luck. As the lights flash and the audience takes a deep breath we await the all-important message communicated to us from the afterlife. Time passes and the tension is unbearable but abruptly the message comes: they seem to be lyrics. To say more would be giving the joke away but Will makes a particularly amusing reference to pop culture. It is a very humorous moment but unfortunately several more cracks to the fourth wall follow. When done well, these can be light-hearted moments. When relied upon for laughs, however, the wall shatters and you can’t help but wonder whether paying for a ticket is money well-spent if props are not pre-set and the comedy stems from lack of preparedness.

Whilst there were several sections of merit, Will’s sense of humour is particularly niche: some of the jokes are science-based to be in keeping with the story, although I can’t help but feel that this is perhaps a little inaccessible to the general public. Nevertheless, as a performer he excels, and what is lost through lack of knowledge is soon made up for in entertainment value; Will Seaward’s Spooky Midnight Ghost Stories IV is a roller ghoster of emotions.

Reviews by Matthew Sedman

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Performances

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The Blurb

The ghosts are back! Will Seaward's legendary late-night torch-wielding vampire-flavoured witch-shaped comedy storytelling spookstavaganza returns for a fourth consecutive year! Ghosts! Cobwebs! Ruined castles! Zombie dinosaurs! Skeletons! Ghouls! Wailing! Warning: May cause audience members to melt with fear. 'Utterly absurd and belly-achingly funny' ***** (ThreeWeeks). 'Superbly silly... I haven't stopped raving about it once' ***** (TheatreFullStop.com). 'Will Seaward make pure comedy gold' ***** (Fest). 'Leaves you open-mouthed with wonder' ***** (TheNewCurrent.co.uk).

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