Review: Wilkie Collins' The Ghost's Touch!

Review: Wilkie Collins’ The Ghost’s Touch!

A pleasant visit to the park with his daughter, in 19th century London, turns into something much more unsettling for widower Stephen Rayburn in the opening scene of Wilkie Collins’ The Ghost’s Touch!, which opened at the New Theatre tonight (Tuesday October 3rd).

An encounter with the mysterious, but irresistably attractive Mrs Zant, sends our lead character on a mission to help her. But is she ill or mad? The more he discovers, the more puzzling it all seems.

This is an intriguing story, cleverly staged by Rumpus Theatre Company, with the simplest of sets, and a superb cast of two – Mark Homer (from TV’s EastEnders, Casualty, and Silent Witness) as Rayburn and Terri Dwyer (Law & Order UK, Holby City, and Hollyoaks) as Mrs Zant.

With virtually no scenery or props, the production relies heavily on this central pair, and they deliver excellent performances, which keep the audience gripped throughout.

Other parts are voices off-stage, including the disturbing and sinister figure of John Zant, voiced by John Goodrum, who also deserves much praise as the play’s writer and director.

If the audience thinks it understands what’s what and who’s who in the first act, there’s a shock in store – a shock big enough to send them scratching their heads as they sip their interval drinks.

And there are even greater shocks to come before the truth is revealed.

This is an excellent production, smartly staged, and brilliantly acted. It’s only in town for two more days, so you’ll need to hurry to feel The Ghost’s Touch!

There are further performances at 2.30pm and 7.30pm on Wednesday (4th) and Thursday (5th).  For tickets, call (029) 2087 8889 or visit the New Theatre website.

Review by Andrew Weltch