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Ghosted

3 June 2019 | 12:32 pm | Cameron Colwell

"For a light-hearted, hilarious night of entertainment, look no further."

Ghosted is an original, energetic comedy which blends absurdist humour with pinpoint-precise naturalism. Feeling like a cross between a traditional farce and a sitcom, Ghosted starts as the straight-laced, neurotic Oliver, played by Kostas Moutsoulas, decides to give Grindr a go and invites over Kyle, played by Jayden Popik, an extroverted partygoer who runs a fashion brand on his father’s dime. After a series of unsuccessful attempts on both sides to start a hook-up – a scene filled with witty one-liners and perfectly acted cringe moments – Kyle decides to leave while Oliver is out of the room. Unfortunately, he is unceremoniously run down by his own Uber, and finds himself trapped in Oliver’s apartment as a ghost. The rest of the play depicts Oliver’s attempts to banish his snarky new housemate, including summoning the help of his “non-romantic life partner”, Jordan, played by Holly Chadwick, whose energy and spark is responsible for many of the first act’s biggest laughs. 

Ghosted’s success rests on its humour: The actors each have a refined sense of comic timing, and the writing is whipsmart and relentlessly clever. Lucinda Cowdenwho plays Pauline, is incredible in her role as a call centre worker/medium. In her bureaucratic, matter-of-fact approach to the otherworldly, writer Michael Thebridge’s gift for dialogue balances an impeccable gift for imitating everyday conversation with the supernatural themes in a way which shines: “It’s in your Ts and Cs — we’re not liable for hauntings,” she quips.

The show’s sound design is skilful, but had a tendency to be distracting on opening night as it regularly clashed with dialogue. There’s a sense that corners have been cut in some of the details: the animation used by the play to convey text messages and punctuate moments of humour was similarly let down by timing issues. While the ratio of jokes which work versus jokes which don’t is incredible, the script is less effective when it tries for drama. It’s mostly strong and smart, but it does lapse into cliche in moments, and the emotional ending, while satisfying, doesn’t feel entirely earned. This said, the actors are well equipped to handle the moments where the plot is a touch thin, and the script’s sense of humour is more than enough to make up for these deficits. There is also an underlying sweetness about the play’s view on the bonds between the characters that rings genuine. Altogether, Ghosted is a unique, uplifting ride from beginning to end. For a light-hearted, hilarious night of entertainment, look no further.