No Sleep for the Haunted
By Geoff Page
The Lowry, 8 March 2012
On the night presented as a work in progress, this musical yet delivers a satisfying jolt of terror.
Actually, a more precise description of the form might be opera comique, rather than musical, but that’s probably a discussion for another day.
There were three ghost stories all told, with two (‘The Judge’s House’ by Bram Stoker and ‘The Signalman’ by Charles Dickens) being nested within the last (‘A Warning to the Curious’ by M.R. James). Expertly melded together, they were alternately acted, sung (in recitative secco for the most part) and narrated by the three versatile cast members.
It was eerily atmospheric and there were some marvellously macabre set pieces, the pick involving a judge, a noose and an unfortunate interloper. The performances were terrific and I’d draw attention in particular to Fred Broom’s wonderful singing. His voice soared.