Review: Stage Fright

Stage Fright is a collection of three short, spooky stories set in the same London theatre during different historical periods.  Each of these thrilling tales sent a shiver down my spine, and are perfect for readers looking for short, suspenseful reads with tantalising twists which evoke a frisson of fear.  

A Perilous Act sees brothers Dan and Jas entering a dilapidated Empire Royal Theatre expecting to find it deserted, but instead they meet a strange old man in the box office, who tells the boys a terrifying tale that takes them back to the heyday of the theatre in 1899 when daring and dangerous acts were performed on its stage.  I became just as engrossed in listening to the old man’s tale of treachery and revenge as the boys, and loved the slow building of suspense, and the feeling that we were not the only ones listening …

The Ghost Light takes the reader to 1941 where we meet Mo in the theatre where she helps her Uncle Jack who is in charge of the stagehands putting on the Christmas pantomime.  Mo finds herself using the stage’s safety ‘ghost’ light to try to locate her uncle after he disappears whilst searching for one of his missing crew.  Could these disappearances have anything to do with the sinister conversation Mo has overheard between two guests at her mother’s boarding house?  This is an exhilaratingly thrilling tale set during the Blitz which is deliciously creepy with a brilliantly dark twist …

A Strange Exit sees stargazer and cosmology-fan Jules determined to visit his local theatre-turned-cinema to enjoy a new film, Star Wars even though he is too young to see it without an adult, and his parents are too busy to take him.  This not does deter Jules and, after sneaking into the auditorium, he finds himself on his own until he meets a rather unusual young boy who offers Jules an irresistible bargain, a bargain that changes both of their lives in the most unexpected way … a spine-tinglingly delicious tale.

There are also some wonderfully detailed illustrations that beautifully evoke time periods and atmosphere, and complement the stories perfectly.

This exciting collection of short stories are brimming with suspense, twists and chills and are sure to delight both avid and more reluctant readers of 9+ who are fans of historical fiction and ghostly mysteries. 

Thank you to the publisher, Dinosaur Books, for providing me with a proof copy in exchange for my honest review.

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