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“Rebecca Vaughan Smashes It!” - We take a trip to the Civic to see Christmas Gothic!

"Death is the coach we must all catch”Christmas Gothic invites you in from the cold to tell three winter ghost stories by the fireside.


Rebecca Vaughan sits in her armchair in this old-timey, macabre presentation that will make the hairs on the back of your neck prick up. Rebecca Vaughan, who both wrote the show and also played the storyteller, shows off her immense talent in both the scriptwritng and her performance throughout.




Like all one woman/man shows, the pressure is really on - and Rebecca smashes it! The idea of performing an 80-minute play alone is an overexposing scenario for most, but Vaughan makes it look like a walk in the park – an impressive feat to behold.


The storyteller isn’t just a simple narrator-type, but has bundles of personality of her own clearly lined in great mystery, so you never quite know who she truly is. The play is structured in three parts with a candle lit for each story. From eerie midnight walks to floating shovels, and footsteps with no feet to step… the three stories are distinct, and each have creepy moments.



I don’t want to give much away, but each of the stories features ghostly presences of some sort and play with your idea of what they could be. The aspect of these the tales that intrigued me was the fact that we get no explanations for the happenings, which entices the audience to conjure up their own reasonings. Keeping that air of mystery which makes ghost stories so appealing.


Now, if you’re planning on seeing the show, keep in mind that these stories are being told to you and not shown to you. Imagine them like an old-fashioned campfire story. This means that to get the full experience of the tale. You need to listen to it all. It's essentially like someone reading you a haunting book.



So if you like ghost stories with a gothic feel… this is perfect for you! That being said, it isn’t just someone talking plainly for the runtime, there are nicely used lighting, sound effects and music used to bring some flair to the production.


Subtle quirks like using an orange light to illuminate the storyteller’s face for the glow of the lantern, or a light casting a well-placed shadow; you only get this in theatre. The sound effects work well to break up the speech and hook you into the stories even more.


Overall, if you’re a fan of old-fashioned spooky tales and enjoy a good book – Christmas Gothic will be right up your street! This is a ‘does what it says on the tin’ kind of show, and if you like the sound of it – show some support for the production. And with the engaging performance from Rebecca Vaughan, get yourself to the theatre this Christmas for a darker set of tales that will get you into the spirit of the season!


For more Civic production across the festive period, and to see what's on in 2023, take a look here: https://barnsleycivic.co.uk/whats-on/



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