Paul Gannon Ain’t Afraid Of No Ghost
Andrew Mickel6 August 2013
Can ghosts and laughs mix?
There is a great show in here, but it takes a while to get around to it because of an extended intro on geek tropes that is well-worn. It’s a shame, as it could easily have been cut to give more time to more personal material later in the show.
Once that’s out the way, the show looks at a genuinely interesting and unexpectedly personal story that Gannon has to tell, covering his time hosting a touring psychic show and how ghost-hunting has helped him handle personal tragedy. Still, there’s a real anxious charm to how Gannon talks about his passion for ghost hunting. It’s actually most interesting hearing about how he communicates those ideas to others, be that in the notorious Hellfire Caves or having to do shows with Derek Acorah.
The personal story is interesting and well-told; the times it doesn’t work so well is when he tries to universalise those themes with some round-the-houses material on Most Haunted and other ghost stories. The marketing gives the impression that the show is mainly about this and it probably does a disservice to Gannon’s story here.
The one time the geeky content doesn’t outstay its welcome is a Richard Sandling Perfect Movie interlude, bringing a velour-clad Sandling to bear on Ghostbusters lore. (Coincidentally, Sigourney Weaver comes out of it smelling like roses.)
Gannon has an underdog confidence that won him affection from an appreciative audience, and it would be good to hear more about him and his unique way of thinking about things. Roll on the second show...
Paul Gannon Ain't Afraid Of No Ghost is at Just The Tonic at The Caves at 5.20pm throughout the Fringe, apart from the unlucky 13th.
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