Last night, a gang of us went to see Andy Nyman's Ghost Stories, a horror stage-show on at the Hammersmith Lyric theatre in London. I know Andy through his work as a writer/director for Derren Brown's excellent shows, and the times I've met him, he's struck me as a sweet, laid-back guy, so even though I'd heard Ghost Stories was properly scary, I went in feeling pretty easy about the evening.
That lasted until about the third second of the show. I don't want to give away any spoilers by telling you too much about the plot, but I can tell you this: Andy plays a parapsychologist giving a lecture to an audience about the absurdity of believing in ghost stories. His character is also sweet, though not very laid back, and the stories he recounts are, in fact, scary as fuck. Especially when combined with the most menacing sound-design I've ever had vibrate through my colon, and some extremely clever staging, and really excellent acting from the small cast.
There were about eight of us last night -- including a couple of magicians, some game designers, and various kind of media creators -- and every one of us came out of there visibly shaken. When we got home, my wife made me get out of bed to make sure the doors were all locked (and I turned on the lights before I did).
The show runs until April 17, and there's even a midnight show on Friday. I don't get out very often -- the exigencies of having a toddler at home -- and every time I do, I ask myself whether this is going to be worth the expense in babysitters and missed sleep (the kid gets up at 5AM every day). This one was absolutely worth it.
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I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.