My Mum and I usually visit the theatre at least once a year, normally picking tickets up for Mother’s Day. This year was no exception. The first of our trips was to see ‘The Whisper House’ at The Other Palace Theatre.
I’m a huge fan of creepy West End shows having seen ‘The Woman in Black’ six times and ‘Ghost Stories’ twice when it was on at The Arts theatre a few years ago. Although I wasn’t expecting ‘The Whisper House’ to be on a par with either of these, I was hoping it would be better than the reviews I’d read online.
The Other Palace Theatre is extremely modern which isn’t a bad thing by any means, but I do like a bit of tradition and sometimes the classic theatrical setting can lead to a show feeling a little eerie even when it’s not meant to be (I’m thinking ‘Phantom of the Opera’ here).
The stage is tiny which seemed a little uncomfortable at first but sat two rows from the front, it certainly made the experience intimate.
The story is that of a spinster woman known as Aunt Lily (Dianne Pilkington) who lives in a supposedly haunted lighthouse that she grew up in. Set during the Second World War on the East Coast of America, Lily has accommodated a Japanese immigrant (who we learn have fallen in love) and is then greeted with her estranged brother’s son who has come to live with her when his father is killed at war.
The lighthouse is haunted by a couple who were killed at sea years before, whose love for one another was never declared and they now haunt the place nearby where they were killed, unable to fulfil their longing for one another.
Being a rock musical, it was obvious from the start that it couldn’t be scary (extremely hard to achieve when any tension or suspense is interrupted by a guitar and drums, and the ghosts breaking into song) but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the story and also the music. I liked that the ghosts in this story were musicians in life and they are predominantly the only two to sing throughout the show.
The acting was fairly good if you can get passed how much the male ghost (Simon Bailey looks and acts like David Brent) and Pilkington’s hideous American accent. The female ghost (Niamh Perry) had a beautiful voice but was unfortunately the only haunting thing about the show.
All-in-all I would recommend it as I was entertained for 100 minutes but don’t go expecting any scares, and by no means compare it to any horrors in theatres in recent years.
3/5 from me.
PN: I think the show ends at the end of May 2017.