A Ghost's Tale
- David Kettle
- 2 August 2018
Creepy and busy trip into the past
Edinburgh's awash with creepy ghost tours at the best of times: but with its ambitious, innovative approach to the genre, this atmospheric audio drama creation from sound designer Tomaž Pritekelj and writer François Olivo stands out.
From the shadow of the castle, the journey winds through the Old Town, with a surround-sound binaural audio soundtrack conveyed through state-of-the-art headphones relating tales from Edinburgh's grisly past, of spooks and apparitions, executions, murders and plague victims.
What brings the show alive is Pritekelj's magical sound design, which creates a thoroughly convincing 3D aural environment for Olivo's dark tales. Most impressive is its uncanny blurring of reality and recording in fleeting moments between tales – the snort of an unseen horse, the jangle of keys from an unknown figure who suddenly materialises.
Olivo's wordy script could never be accused of shortchanging with a paucity of sinister stories, but requires more attention than Edinburgh's teeming evening streets permit. His cast of Scottish voice actors give vivid performances, but the show's breathless pace sometimes detracts from the atmospheric impact of its spooky stories. Nevertheless, it's a gently unsettling melding of cutting-edge technology and ancient tales that provides a disquieting glimpse into Edinburgh's dark past.
Outside Johnston Terrace Nature Reserve (by the red telephone boxes), until 2 Sep (not 8, 16, 22, 30 Aug), 9.30pm, £12 (£9).