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Ghost From a Perfect Place - Arcola Theatre

Ghost From a Perfect Place

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

TWENTY years after its explosive premiere at Hampstead Theatre – where it was denounced as “pornographic” by The Guardian’s Michael Billington and hailed by The Spectator as “a masterpiece” – Philip Ridley’s scorchingly dark comedy, Ghost From A Perfect Place, will have its first major revival at Arcola Theatre.

Directed by Russell Bolam, following his critically-acclaimed production of Ridley’s Shivered at Southwark Playhouse, it will run from September 15 (previews from September 11) to October 11, 2014.

Back in the swinging sixties, Travis Flood led a gang that terrorised East London. Now, after an absence of many years, he returns to find his old turf in the clutches of a new kind of gang…with a new kind of leader. Rio, ruler of a vicious gang of girls, instantly captivates Travis with her haunting beauty. But when their paths cross, a shocking story begins to emerge – one that shatters both their distorted memories.

Multi award-winning playwright Philip Ridley returns to Arcola Theatre with his contemporary classic, in which a monster from the past meets the monsters of the present.

Produced by Sarah Stribley Productions, Ghost From A Perfect Place will be designed by Anthony Lamble, with lighting by Malcolm Rippeth and sound by Richard Hammarton. Casting has yet to be announced.

Director Russell Bolam’s 2012 production of Philip Ridley’s Shivered was nominated for the Whatsonstage Best Off-West End Production Award, OFFIE nominated for Best New Play, and OFFIE long-listed for Best Production, Best Director and Best Actor (also Evening Standard Outstanding Newcomer). Bolam also directed The Merry Wives of Windsor at Ivan Vazov, and new translations of Chekov’s Three Sisters and The Seagull by Anya Reiss at Southwark Playhouse.

Philip Ridley was born in the East End of London where he still lives and works. As well as three books for adults and the highly acclaimed screenplay for the The Krays feature film (winner of The Evening Standard Best Film of the Year Award), he has written 10 stage plays: The Pitchfork Disney, the multi-award-winning The Fastest Clock in the Universe, Ghost from a Perfect Place, Vincent River, the controversial Mercury Fur, Leaves of Glass, Piranha Heights, Tender Napalm, Shivered and Dark Vanilla Jungle (winner of a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival).

Ridley has also written five plays for young people: Karamazoo, Fairytaleheart, Moonfleece, Sparkleshark and Brokenville. He has won both the Evening Standard’s Most Promising Newcomer to British Film and Most Promising Playwright Awards; the only person ever to receive both prizes.

A seminal piece of contemporary British theatre, Ghost From A Perfect Place explores the nature of gang culture. The production will be accompanied by a series of free educational workshops, post-show discussions and community events dealing with the themes of the play. Further details to be announced.

Ghost From A Perfect Place is supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

Ghost From A Perfect Place is suitable for ages 14+.

Tickets: £19, £15 concessions. Previews (September 11-13) £12. To book, call the box office on 020 7503 1646 or visit

Times: Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm; Saturday matinee at 3pm (no matinee Saturday, September 13).

Running Time: 2 hours (plus interval).

Also at Arcola Theatre: Morphic Graffiti’s bold new interpretation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel (until July 19, 2014) and Rashid Razaq’s new play The Nightmares of Carlos Fuentes (July 23 to August 16, 2014).