Skip to main content

Review of Ghost Walk 2015 from Looking Glass Theatre, Northampton

Last year in my review of the Ghost Walk I made it clear that I wasn't the biggest believer of ghostly apparitions. So I returned for more this year, not to be swayed into a believer, but to experience the best part of last years walk, the historical information. Rather thrillingly (and I take no credit. Or do I?) the ghost walk had not only dispersed of the slightly incongruous theatre performance filler, but also upped the ante on the history lesson.

While ghosts were still of course on the menu (poltergeist stew anyone?), this year we also had the chance to learn a great deal more of solid historical information about the main four venues we visited. Our tour began at St Peter's Church, were we learned a little about the history of the place and who was buried there. We also got a chance to explore in the dark for a few moments.





















The church itself is an amazing building and it is a shame that is has been so rarely used for the last twelve years. However Looking Glass themselves are set to change this dramatically now that it is to be their new performance space.

Our journey then took us onto somewhere I have been before, but not for sometime; Castle Hill. Where indeed there is a mound of earth which barring a moved gate is pretty much all that represents Northampton's very long gone castle. We were told of a lady with a candle who is supposed to walk the area in search of some also long lost item. Some of our party saw an apparition apparently. I myself could not comment.

The third main stop came after a brief detour to outside a car park which is supposed, and very likely perhaps to be a burial ground for victims of the Black Death. However onto Hazelrigg House, now the base camp of Looking Glass and somewhere I had some brief experience with earlier in the year. Here we were told of many supposed experiences of ghostly moments in this well regarded haunted house, once visited in all belief by Oliver Cromwell and is a survivor of the Fire of Northampton in 1675. This was to be the main base of some ghostly theatrical moments, those of which as a wise young lady with us said, were more scary before they started moving. It is an amazing building with much history and great, albeit briefly to be in there again.

The final stop on the tour was the Black Lion pub where we visited a function room and more interestingly the cellar and quite a small but creepy place it is. We were plunged into darkness twice in the Black Lion much to the consternation of a couple of the party, however no ghosts sadly made there presence felt or were heard on the recording I made on my phone.

Once again a more interesting tour for me over the ghost walk part, but the ghost parts were wonderfully presented as in 2014 with great period costume and make-up. Part of the interest also of a tour is the company we keep and those on my particular one were interesting and also interested in what they were being. The included the aforementioned scared/not scared young lady, and as well also great credit to the stick wielding gentleman who completed the tour fully despite there being some challenging access moments at the Black Lion, where I showed my limbo prowess.

Super stuff once again and excellently and pleasantly presented by our guide James Smith. I look forward to where the Looking Glass shall be taking us for the 2016 tour.

««««

Tour experienced: Friday, 30th October 2015 (5pm)

The Looking Glass Ghost Walk 2015 ran between Monday, 26th and Saturday 31st October, 2015.


Looking Glass Theatre's website can be found here: http://www.lookingglasstheatre.co.uk/ and they are on Twitter @LGTheatre and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lgtheatre

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review of Great Expectations by The Royal & Derngate Actors Company at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

Market Boy from The Actors Company last year was a remarkable show and is likely to stay with me for a long time, so following it with this year's production was always going to be a tough call and with their production of the epic Dickens classic Great Expectations, they at least didn't lack ambition.

I have to be honest, things for me didn't start well. The first few minutes of this adaptation by Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod is a busy and convoluted sequence moving the opening part of the story in an unclear and often irritating way. For those present not aware of the original story, I wouldn't envy them trying to keep up with what is going on. However much of the trouble of this opening sequence is quickly corrected as scenes become more defined and controlled and the story is allowed to develop at a slower pace.

Perhaps also in the early part, it doesn't help either that the gender-swapped Magwitch played by Salli Bersham is a little too full on with the o…

Review of Once Upon A Grimm Tale by The Royal & Derngate Actors Company (Early) at Judge's Lodgings, Northampton

Once upon a time, there was a brave theatrical reviewer. He lived in a market town in deepest darkest Englaland, where many great and remarkable things of stage did occur. At the centre of this wondrous world of performing spectacles was a place referred to by many as the Royal Derngatus, a place of people pretending to be other people and telling tales of mystery, intrigue and frolics.

Within the fortressed walls of Royal Derngatus, there were a group of fearless players who entertained local folk for no reward, other than the thrill of seeing the joy in the faces of others. Those group of artists went by the name of Actors Companus, which many pronounced carefully when they did say it out loud. This group of merry men and women did have two forms, an early and a late, and but two days before this adventurous evening of forthcoming storytelling, the late group did perform for a third and final time a most amazing feat of theatre, going by the name of Great Expectations.


Our hero of thi…

Review of Hansel & Gretel by Warts & All at Delapré Abbey, Northampton

For those unfamiliar with Kneehigh Theatre (from where this show originally comes), the best way of explaining them is that they do traditional things, differently. This performance by Warts and All Theatre of their adaptation of the classic tale of Hansel & Gretel tells you much of what you need to know early on as a (human) rabbit is pinned down upon a table and skinned (half their costume removed). It is just one of an evening of wacky and quite brilliant moments as this production sours mostly for the sky of brilliance.

Handed to a cast of young performers, the result is often disturbingly professional. Sure it is still rough around the edges at times, but perhaps this helps the material. It doesn't actually matter if there is sparring from the cast with the audience, knowing looks and playfulness. It doesn't matter if one of the cast nearly knocks the cymbal of the musicians flying, perhaps it would have been even better if they had, this is anachic fun at its very b…