Are you aware that there are ghosts floating above the streets of the City of London?
There’s a construction worker in Broadgate, a monk in Austin Friars, a Roman soldier in Throgmorton Street and a punk rocker in Finsbury Circus amongst others and you can hear their stories on a superb, interactive, site-specific, audio walk from Poltergeist Theatre, a young energetic group of directors, writers, designers and performers who The Guardian named “One of the best young theatre companies”.
The walk starts outside 3FA a brand-new creative space in Finsbury Avenue Square which is part of the vibrant Broadgate development behind Liverpool Street station. Having downloaded the app via the Apple App Store or Google Play, plug in your earbuds and headphones and follow the instructions which take you from location to location (none of them too far from 3FA) and listen to ‘Mary’ the narrator who’s a ghost herself and is trying to organise a party for all the other ghosts in the vicinity.
The walk takes you around the area of Broadgate and Finsbury Circus and takes around 55 minutes to complete. On the cold, damp evening I did the walk, the area was eerily quiet and the route took you down the backstreets and alleyways of the City where the atmosphere was truly spooky and brought a chill to the spine as the ghosts told their stories of how they died and ended up haunting the neighbourhood. They were from various times dating back to medieval and Roman London to the modern-day and all had an interesting yarn to tell. Guided along the route by ‘Mary’, we’re taken from ghostly location to ghostly location as she tries to encourage the other ghosts to come to her party – she seems to be failing miserably but there’s a sting in her tale!
I’ve been on a number of interactive audio walks, some good, some not so good and this is definitely the best. The voice cast is superb with Juliet Stevenson as ‘Mary’ aided and abetted by the likes of Patterson Joseph, Adam Buxton, Nina Wadia and Tanya Reynolds as some of the other ghosts. There are also a couple of super young cheeky choirboys’ ‘Gilbert’ and ‘Graham’ played with great enthusiasm by Ivo and Zac Stimpson.
Poltergeist Theatre are a collaborative group and Ghost Walk is the result of that collaboration but special mention must go to Alice Boyd who did the unnerving, ghostly sound design as well as all the original music and Jack Bradfield who directed the actors and co-wrote the piece along with Rosa Garland and Will Spence.
So, if this sounds like your thing, download the Ghost Walk app and get yourself down to Broadgate. I suggest you wrap up warmly and do it on a cold, frosty, night when the ghosts of London town are out and about and ready to tell their accounts of death and misadventure.
Review by Alan Fitter
Ghost Walk is an interactive, site-specific audio walk by Poltergeist. Download the app, plug in your headphones, and meet a host of hilarious ghosts hiding around City of London.