Haunting tale of love, loss and obsesssion

Haunting Julia
Haunting Julia
Share this article

Those looking for a chilling and ghostly night of drama this Hallowe’en night need look no further than Alnwick Playhouse.

The arts venue plays host to a Queens Hall Arts production of Alan Ayckbourn’s Haunting Julia at 7.30pm on Friday, October 31.

Those more afraid of things that go bump in the night can also go during daylight hours – at 1pm on Saturday, November 1.

Haunting Julia is a chilling ghost story for the stage that manages to encapsulate Ayckbourn’s trademark timing and wit.

It is a twisted study of grief, obsession and the supernatural that will have you jumping out of your seat on the spookiest night of the year.

Musical prodigy Julia is found dead and, 12 years later, her father Joe is still trying to come to terms with what happened. Tonight, he wants answers.

In her old room, a psychic, her boyfriend and father finally unravel the gruesome mystery, as the walls begin to give up the secret of what really happened to Julia.

The play was first performed in December 1994 and was inspired in part by the legendary stage adaptation of Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black, which had premiered seven years previously.

Ayckbourn considered that the ability to make audiences jump was little to do with special effects and a lot to do with acting and a tense storyline.

However, as the play developed, its focus shifted a little from being a traditional ghost story to focusing on the three men in the play and their relationships with Julia.

Ayckbourn has also said that he was interested in writing about parents and children – ‘the difficulty of being a parent and establishing the necessary balance of distance and closeness’.

In a format used only for the second time in a full-length Ayckbourn play, Haunting Julia is a real-time play, with a single continuous scene running throughout the whole play, while it is also his first play with an all-male cast.

Tickets, costing £11, £12 premier or £10 child/student, are available from the Playhouse box office on 01665 602234 or at www.alnwickplayhouse.co.uk