Whistle and I’ll Come to You Review

Nottingham Theatre Royal – until Saturday 14 May 2022

Reviewed by Louise Ford


In someways it doesn’t seem quite right to have a ghost story in mid May, ghost stories are best suited to cold, windy October evenings.

The adaptation of MR James Oh Whistle and I’ll Come to You by Millie James is given a modern twist with the lead character Professor Parkin being played by a woman (Susan Earnshaw), and the use of mobile phones as a plot device to move the story along.  The show is directed by Karen Henson and produced by Rumpus Theatre Company.

The cast is very pared back with just two actors, Susan Earnshaw and John Goodrum. Goodrum plays at least four characters. John Goodrum also designed the set. It’s a no frills production centred in a single space. In someways this works very well as the story is really moved along with the dialogue and the sound. However it did feel a little amateurish. The use of sound (wind and storm mainly) helps to set the scene and creates an unsettling atmosphere. The sound designer was David Giltbrook.

Despite the references all the way through the story about night-time paralysis, nightmares, half glimpsed figures and unaccountable events it seemed to me that this was really a story about grief and loss, rather than a ghost story.