Will Seaward's Spooky Midnight Ghost Stories

★★★
comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
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Will Seaward
Published 09 Aug 2017

What better way to end a day at the Fringe than to have a big, sweaty, hairy man tell you stories that give you the willies. So successful is Seaward's eccentric scary storytelling show it's back at the Gilded Balloon for a fourth year.

The Brian Blessed comparisons to Seaward are frequent but also very accurate. He has a beard and booms particularly spectacularly. Top that with some Medusa-like hair and he cuts quite the idiosyncratic figure. Perfect.

It's like stumbling on a late night screening of those old '70s Tales of the Unexpected episodes, combined with Hammer Horror and whatever the latest popular hallucinogen of the day is.

Ominously, Seaward's reading book appears to have the word Doom written on the front, so we can't say we weren't warned. Off we kick with a spooky castle inhabited by unpronounceably named characters, lots of unlikely adjectives and a patchwork monster to reek havoc. Elsewhere in the show there are opportunities to contact the dead and the return of lovers Clarence and Louloulou in a swashbuckling rhyme.

Seaward's tales are full of playful messing around with language. Extra syllables are thrown in here and there, the creation of some portmanteau words or new ones entirely. It's inventively silly. 

Whilst the result may be not be about to win the Booker prize any time soon, they are entertaining nonetheless. It's all rather cultural too, there are liberal nods to Frankenstein and the work of Poe, coupled with other more modern references to Jurassic Park and Harry Potter.

And of course Seaward and his booming performance dominates the room enabling him to encourage much enjoyable audience participation where we get to join with "oohs", "woos" and "aaaaaaaarghs".