Ghostly goings-on at the Old Town Hall

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THERE are more ghostly goings on at the Old Town Hall in Hemel next week when Robert Lloyd Parry performs his one man show Oh Whistle – bringing to life two of M R James’ classic spine chillers.

Oh Whistle and I’ll Come To You My Lad is a tale of nocturnal horror on the Suffolk coast – considered by many to be the author’s masterpiece.

It is wonderfully complemented by The Ash Tree, a story of witchcraft and vengeance down the generations.

An art historian by training, Robert Lloyd Parry was working at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge when he got the opportunity to combine his love of acting and his passion for the writing of M R James.

The author was once the director of the museum and as part of an exhibition of the work that he had done Robert got to perform a couple of his stories in what had been his old office – a hugely evocative room with a magnificent Victorian leather book-lined interior containing a large marble fireplace.

Not long afterwards the museum ran out of funding for the position he held.

Robert said: “I had always wanted to try my hand as a professional actor and found myself without a job but with a ready-made show.

“I took the plunge and have been doing it since then.”

He now has three M R James’ shows to his repertoire and, amazingly, has committed each story to memory.

Robert plays the part of the supernatural writer sitting in his college rooms – he was a Cambridge don – telling his stories by candlelight.

The audience play the part of his friends in listening.

He said: “I think unconsciously I was rather influenced by Jackanory!”

The ghost story enthusiast who has always been drawn to the darker more unexplained side of fiction is currently also working on a biography of M R James and he is looking to expand his repertoire to include the writings of H G Wells.

Don’t miss out on a beautiful performance in a perfect setting – book yourself a ticket now and prepare for an evening of pleasing terror and enjoyable shivers!

Nunkie Theatre Company and Beyond Eternity present Oh Whistle… Two Ghost Stories by M R James at the Old Town Hall Theatre in Hemel Hempstead on Tuesday, October 18 at 8pm.

Call the box office on 01442 228091 for tickets or go to www.oldtownhall.co.uk.