Mr Monkey sees A Warning to the Curious at the Bury Met, 22nd October
Mr Monkey was delighted to find out that R.M. Lloyd Parry was coming to the Bury Met to perform a couple of ghost stories by M.R. James, because Mr Monkey is partial to the odd creepy night out and his humans had told him that Mr Lloyd Parry's earlier piece, A Pleasing Terror, had been an excellent and creepy night out. So he made his humans buy tickets, and took the Metrolink into Bury.
After he'd checked the posters outside to make sure that he'd come on the right day, Mr Monkey trotted into the theatre, found his seat and examined the stage which was arranged to look like M.R. James' study in Cambridge. Though it was only lit by candles, it wasn't actually as dark as the picture below makes it look.
R.M. Lloyd Parry came onto the stage looking very like M.R. James and sat down to tell a ghost story, just as James did when he first wrote his tales. First he told the story of The Stalls of Barchester Cathedral. This isn't Mr Monkey's favourite story - he thinks it's a little confusing because the narrator finds out about Dr Haynes and his unfortunate fate from a number of sources - but it does have a marvelous moment when the Doctor rests his hand on a carved wooden cat and finds that it's furry.
After the interval, Mr Lloyd Parry came back and performed A Warning to the Curious, a much more direct and obviously scary story about misguided amateur archaeology (and vengance from beyond the grave) on the Sussex coast. Mr Monkey really enjoyed hearing the unsettling tale being told from memory in the darkened room.
When the story was finished Mr Monkey crept out into the night, and was very careful to avoid digging up Saxon crowns on the way home (this isn't actually that hard in Manchester).
Mr Lloyd Parry is performing one or other of his three Jamesian evenings (A Pleasing Terror, Oh, Whistle... and A Warning to the Curious) somewhere in England from now until the end of March 2010 - check his performance schedule to see if he's coming to your town.
Due to cat-infested nightmares, Mr Lloyd Parry has stopped performing The Stalls of Barchester Cathedral and has replaced it with Lost Hearts. This is another rather good story, though Mr Monkey thinks it may not be completely suitable for anyone approaching their twelfth birthday.