“Do you believe in ghosts?” is not just a question you ask a child. This phrase now embodies a brand-new theatre production of the same name found in theatres across the UK.
Perhaps you’ve seen the YouTube teaser that’s got you wondering about the play, or you saw it on the schedule of your local theatre.
Whatever the case, join us as we review this haunting performance so that you know what to expect for a fun night at the theatre.
About Do You Believe In Ghosts?
‘Do You Believe In Ghosts?’ is defined as an “experiential ghost story” – unlike anything you’ve ever experienced at the theatre. Ghosts are all around us, and this production weaves interesting stories of ghosts into the history of the theatre.
What happens during the dark night at a theatre, when the crowds leave and the lights go out? Are you prepared to find out all the secrets of an empty theatre?
The production blurs the line between a play and the paranormal. It offers a unique, immersive experience, which is different to most theatre productions.
The show starts with the host sharing information on the most popular theatre ghosts and what a ghost light is, while the stage manager provides constant comments and quips.
Fun fact: A ghost light is a single light that is left burning on stage while the theatre is closed. It is said to chase away ghosts, but in reality, it is used by theatre workers who work after hours.
Paranormal investigators join the stage, sharing stories and experiences of the theatre’s ghosts. They tell ghostly tales that don’t add up, and mention the spirits that lurk in the dark wings of the stage.
The show promises to give you goosebumps and leave a lasting impression of the real theatre ghosts that walk with you around the theatre halls and corridors.
Our Do You Believe In Ghosts? Theatre Review
We see what producer James Taylor and director Julian Woolford tried to do with this production. They wanted to entertain audience members with real-world ghost stories from the local town and, more specifically, the theatre where the production is taking place.
The play promises “to raise the hairs on your arms and send chills down the back of your neck,” but in all honestly, it felt a little bit gimmicky.
If you are simply there to enjoy good storytelling and a fun evening at the theatre, then you’ll love this production. The show does deliver on entertainment value, with great effects, props, and some over-the-top acting.
If you were looking for jump scares and learning about real ghosts, you might be better off researching your own ghost story at home (SpiritShack has plenty of ghost stories blogs to get you started).
Or, if you want to experience something terrifying or paranormal, spend your money on a ghost tour or ghost-hunting event instead.
Unfortunately, the show has received a couple of bad reviews and negative comments from people who bought tickets.
Here’s some feedback from other audience members on Trip Advisor: “While the theatre itself is very good, have to say, it was the worst show I’ve ever seen. Many people walked out during the first half, which goes to show how bad it was.” The reviewer went on to tell the theatre never to put on the same show in the future.
Of course, everyone might experience this show differently. Some members of the audience had a great time, while others who are hard-core fans of scary things would recommend you stay away.
Is this Paranormal Show Scary?
This play is not there to scare you but rather to entertain you with untold ghost stories.
There are some mild jump scares if you’re a very jumpy person, but it lacks real ghost stories and a truly thrilling experience.
It remains a really fun show, and those who stayed for the second half enjoyed the retelling of local ghosts and mischievous spirits. However, if you want to watch something terrifying, we’d recommend you stay home and watch Paranormal Activity instead.
Other Scary Theatre Productions
So, you thought ‘Do You Believe In Ghosts?’ was absolute rubbish, and it didn’t result in any raised hairs or scares. Or, perhaps, you actually enjoyed the show and want some more spooky plays.
Here are some other UK productions that are known to terrify those brave enough to book tickets.
The Woman in Black
This stage play is based on a book by the same name that was published in 1983. In the play, the lead Arthur Kipps, a lawyer, has to sort through the papers of a deceased client, Mrs Alice Drablow. At the funeral, Arthur encounters a mysterious woman in black, but no one else sees her.
Notably, only three actors are involved in the retelling of this haunting tale.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
This musical is not exactly scary, but it is quite horrific. It tells the story of an angry barber who wants revenge for being framed by a judge who committed a violent crime against his wife and daughter.
The barber, Mr. Sweeney Todd, is supported by Mrs. Lovett, who runs a popular – if somewhat sinister – pie shop on Fleet Street. With the help of the vengeful Sweeney, Mrs. Lovett is able to introduce a new meaty ingredient to her pies, that have the citizens of London drooling!
Sleep No More
You’ve heard of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth? Well, Sleep No More is a dark retelling of this story, with reference to witch trials from 1697 and inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s noir films.
This immersive theatre experience sees the audience walking through a variety of rooms, instead of watching a stage play. There isn’t a lot of dialogue, and attendees get to walk through the “set” at their own pace.
Although it is not a “scary” show, it does leave a haunting impression.
The Phantom of the Opera
While the paranormal show retells the tales of local theatre ghosts, The Phantom of the Opera is the actual story of a disfigured man (and musical genius) who lives in the catacombs of the Paris Opera House.
Although it is not a horror play, there are moments of fear (and keep an eye on the chandelier above your head!).
Does ‘Do You Believe In Ghosts?’ have an age restriction?
It is recommended that only audiences over the age of 18 watch this ghostly theatre product because of the content and atmosphere that is created. It is not outright frightening, but it’s best to leave the kids at home.
Is ‘Do You Believe In Ghosts?’ based on true ghost stories?
The production incorporates true tales, folklore and local legends into the telling of ghostly tales. However, there is no historical significance to the paranormal play, and it is purely a work of fiction meant for entertainment.
What should I keep in mind when I go to watch Do You Believe In Ghosts?
Here are a couple of tips to make the most of your experience at the theatre:
- Make sure you arrive early, so you can grab a drink before the show starts and settle into your seat.
- Dress comfortably and bring warm layers as theatres can be a little bit cold.
- Skip the detailed reviews. It is probably too late for this tip since you made it this far in the article, but we recommend that you avoid spoilers to have the best experience.
- Keep an open mind. Even if the show is not what you expected, the actors, writers and directors put a lot of effort into creating it.
If you are feeling brave and want to enjoy some ghost tales, then it is worth booking tickets to go see this theatrical experience.
This entertaining theatre production can be a fun night out, but if you want to experience real thrills and feel your hair standing on end, you might be better off staying home and watching some ghost TV shows or movies instead!