The full cast joining Catherine Tate and David Threlfall in The Enfield Haunting, a new play based on one of the most famous poltergeist events in the world, is announced today (Tuesday 3 October 2023).
Written by Paul Unwin, and directed by Angus Jackson, The Enfield Haunting will play at Brighton Theatre Royal and Richmond Theatre, before moving to The Ambassadors Theatre in London for a limited West End season from 30 November 2023 until 2 March 2024.
The Hodgsons had no idea what a poltergeist was when, in the summer of 1977, furniture and toys started moving of their own accord. They were an ordinary, working-class family, who lived in a North London council house at 284 Green Street, Enfield, but for the next eighteen months became the centre of one of the most famous poltergeist events in the world.
Janet, the possessed sixteen-year-old, was nearly pulled out of a window. The local ‘lollipop lady’ saw her floating six feet in the air in an upstairs room and Janet was found fast asleep in a neighbours’ bed. There are tapes of Janet growling for hours in a voice that doctors said would destroy a sixteen-year-old girl’s vocal cords after a few minutes.
Paul Unwin’s new play is the story of one night in the spring of 1978 when events were approaching a climax. Based on the first-hand accounts of one the one the ghost hunters, The Enfield Haunting is the true story of what happened when Peggy Hodgson tries to protect her three children from something that is incomprehensible, deeply disturbing and is hurtling to a terrifying conclusion.
Maurice Grosse was one of the ghost hunters. A kind and protective man, he was determined to help the Hodgson’s but as the night unfolds it slowly becomes clear that he is searching for something that he is convinced that only Janet can help him find.
Writer Paul Unwin said: ‘Before Guy Lyon Playfair the poltergeist expert died in 2018, I spent a long afternoon with him in his basement flat in Earls Court. He and Maurice Grosse had spent months with the Hodgson family trying to protect them, but also make sense of what was going on. What Guy told me was terrifying. So much of what appears to have happened was impossible to fake and yet at the centre of the whole thing were real people trying to make sense of their lives. The Enfield Haunting is a psychological ghost story. It is a ghost story for now.’
Tickets from www.enfieldhauntingplay.com.