The Ghost Sonata

Here is a version of the play to download:- 20120619134002-Ghost_Sonata_-_Working_Script

Here is a dull radio 4 version of the play

When August Strindberg wrote The Ghost Sonata in 1907, acute psoriasis meant his hands literally dripped blood onto the page as he clutched his pen. The pain, mixed with his disappointment in his personal life and anger at the corruption endemic at all levels of the Swedish social strata led him to The Ghost Sonata – life is merely hell on earth.

The short(ish) play depicts a nightmare, almost surreal land – perhaps the dream world where mortals must pass on their way to the afterlife. There is little narrative through line as the strange characters reveal, in turn, awful details of their past lives. Ghosts, vampires and even a Mummy reveal the decay that lies just beneath the surface.

The play looks ahead to modernism, surrealism and expressionism and as such gives us a huge and exciting stage on which to set this piece. It requires a grotesque, exaggerated, physical and non-realistic acting style which should be brilliant fun (and a real challenge) to perform and whereas I have some ideas for ‘look and feel’ the staging will need to be a very collaborative process.

Our production dates are 23/24/25 November so rehearsals will begin in September. It is a short play in three distinct movements and I always aim to call strictly as required rather than having people sat around – but in this case any input will be gratefully received!

I have posted a version of the play for you to read here :-

We will be tightening up the script as we go.

The characters

Most of these are having affairs, are the product of affairs or are just plain nasty. The age of the character is almost irrelevant in the casting. Of these, Hummel, the Student and the Girl have most to learn.

MILKMAID                                          A ghost

ARKENHOLZ                                       A student

DIRECTOR HUMMEL                       An eighty-year-old man confined to a wheelchair (think Davros from Doctor Who)

THE MUMMY                                    A woman named Amalia, old and perhaps insane. Imitates a parrot.

The COLONEL                                    A retired military official.

The GIRL                                              The colonel’s daughter

JOHANSSON                                      Assistant to Hummel

BENGTSSON                                       The butler to the colonel

WHITE-HAIRED WOMAN             Living in the building through which the action takes place

CONCIERGE                                        Of the building

COOK                                                    Succubus-like. Working in the colonel’s household

BARON                                                 A resident of the neighbourhood.


About me

I’m new to Ovo. I have a degree in Drama and studied acting postgraduate at Webber Douglas Academy before a briefish but relatively successful time as a professional actor. 18 years ago I founded (and still run with my wife) Best Theatre Arts, a part-time theatre school for young people based in St Albans. We have about 300 students at present across our various groups. Having recently left the corporate world behind I’m now trying to do more of what I love, namely directing. Last year I took our youth theatre group, TheBYTE, through the Connections project to the National Theatre, performing The Boy Preference on the Dorfman stage – a career highlight. I’ve directed shows at university, drama school and throughout my time at Best BUT (and it’s a big BUT) this will be my first foray into directing a cast of real adults! So please be gentle with me…