Fans of A Christmas Carol will no doubt enjoy the spine-chilling production Night Terrors when it visits our Great Hall this December. Tales of the supernatural from E.F. Benson’s brilliant collection of ghost stories will be brought to life by masterful storytelling from Gerard Logan. We caught up with him ahead of the performance to find out more about the inspiration behind the show and haunted places he would like to visit himself.
What can we expect from the show?
A chilling, unsettling, intriguing and soul-nourishing evening comprising of 3 of E F Benson’s brilliant ghost stories. If you want to be scared, then look no further than Farnham Maltings on December 5th. I shall meet you there.
Who do you think the show will appeal to?
Everyone from age 12yrs and upwards.
Where did the inspiration from the show come from?
The brilliant Gareth Armstrong (truly, the man is a genius!) and I have worked together for the last 11 years with, if I may say, huge success. Our projects before now have all been in the “classical” arena, one show (the award-winning “The Rape of Lucrece”) being written by Shakespeare, and the other “Wilde Without the Boy”) being a staging of Oscar Wilde’s “De Profundis”. I am still touring those shows both in the UK and abroad, but I have always loved ghost stories and broached the idea to Gareth. He liked the idea, and I think, first of all, both of us thought we’d be doing staged adaptations of some of M R James’ famous ghost stories. However, having read them all, and loving them as we did, none of them really lit our creative fires, so to speak. It was then that we looked far and wide for other stories and eventually found those written by E F Benson. This surprised us both because, of course, Benson is most famous for his “Mapp & Lucia” stories, but as soon as we read his ghost stories (he referred to them as “spook stories”) we knew we’d struck gold. We chose the 3 stories which most immediately appealed but there are others we loved as well, and we shall, in the near future, be adding those to this show be adding to this show.
Why do people like ghost stories at Christmas time?
I feel that with the shortening days and the onset of darkness at an earlier hour, Winter in general and Christmas in particular reawakens our inner child, our belief that there is magic in the world. In short, I think it puts us back in touch with our, and others’, souls. Our love of ghost stories at Christmas time is symptomatic of this reawakening. In my work, one of my goals is to keep that inner child, that belief in magic, awake all year round, not just in myself but in others.
Which haunted place would you most like to overnight?
Well….in my travels around the country with my work I have, in all seriousness, had some ghostly experiences. They have been entirely unexpected and, I have to tell you, very frightening indeed. My belief in, and respect for, such forces is, therefore, total. I would not then, in all honesty, like to spend the night in any haunted place “for the fun of it”, so to speak. I think if one did one would be asking for serious, and very disturbing, trouble. It would, I believe, be akin to getting in to a cage to see a Great White Shark up close and personal. One might get away with it unscathed on a few occasions, but the truth is that the I am invading the shark’s domain and the shark could, if the fancy took it, reduce that cage to rubble. If I pushed my luck on one too many occasions, that would definitely happen. So I’ll pass on the night in a haunted house or castle, if you don’t mind!
Ghost of the past, present or future who would you like to be visited by?
Definitely the Ghost of Christmas Present. He is hugely powerful and benevolent and, along side Aslan in the Narnia books, the closest thing to a perfect embodiment of my idea of God as I can conceive.
Night Terrors by Gerard Logan performs on Thu 05 December at 7.30pm – book tickets