STILL Ready To Believe You: Celebrating 30 years of Ghostbusting

Sat 2nd – Tue 12th August 2014

reviews

Tom Gellatly

at 00:12 on 7th Aug 2014

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As becomes increasingly clear over the course of Des O’Gormon’s 45 minute play – or rather, extended Ghostbusters tribute, Still Ready to Believe You - this is one man who really, really loves everyone’s favourite 1984 supernatural comedy. O’Gormon’s production is a tour de force in utterly infectious enthusiasm for a franchise, as he takes us through a brief history of not only Ghostbusters’ origins and enduring appeal today, but also his own more personal relationship with the films and characters that he so obviously, and so endearingly, loves.

Nonetheless, it would be an accurate, if not entirely fair, description of Still Ready to Believe You to say that it is simply a self-confessed nerd waxing lyrical on the subject of his particular nerdiness, for almost an hour. And when you look at the cold hard facts of it, O’Gormon’s production has little to commend it in terms of new or surprising information about the film. There are some interesting bits of trivia about the franchise scattered throughout the play, but these are scant compared to O’Gormon’s recounting of his own experiences with the film.

Unsurprisingly, there is little to nothing of dramatic merit here, with O’Gormon brazenly forgoing the idea of any real progression in his production, instead choosing to essentially list what he finds so great about the series for the duration.

But something strange starts to happen after about the tenth or eleventh time O’Gormon tells the audience that he ‘really absolutely loves’ this or that little thing about Ghostbusters, be it the noise of their van’s siren or their secretary’s apparently very attractive, nasal voice. His love for the series really does start to take a hold on his listeners, to the extent that, even if you aren't familiar with or don't care for Ghostbusters in any of its incarnations, you start buying into O’Gormon’s sheer enthusiasm even if you don't agree with its object.

This is clearly a pet project, and O’Gormon himself closes by telling us that it is his own way of paying tribute to Harold Ramis – one of the film’s stars who sadly passed away earlier this year. This adds yet another touch of poignancy to a production which, by its close, has already made a strangely profound impression. Fine, not everybody is going to find Ghostbusters to be worthy of such all-encompassing worship, but O’Gormon’s play gradually morphs from a tribute to his favourite franchise into a kind of meditation on the very act itself of loving something so wholeheartedly – and that’s pretty impressive for one man just talking about his favourite film.

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Millie Morris

at 03:18 on 7th Aug 2014

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Do you like Ghostbusters? Des O'Gorman does. In fact, he likes it so much he's devised an entire show dedicated to the ghoul-infested eighties blockbuster with the notoriously catchy theme tune. Why? I'm not too sure either. In this obscure melange of rather hurried jokes, digital images and personal anecdotes, there is a clear sense of worship to the men in the beige jumpsuits.

Unfortunately, if you don't happen to be part of this elite fan club, you may struggle to take much away from 'Still Ready to Believe You' ... apart the fact that O'Gorman really REALLY likes Ghostbusters.

Brandishing his remote controller like a sonic screwdriver, O'Gorman stands at the side of the stage and talks whilst flicking between Ghostbusters images and other relevant films, studding the commentary with frequent jokes. Without fully committing to a stand-up persona, O'Gorman is rendered something of an unwieldy lecturer. He's a humorous fellow equipped with a colourful PowerPoint presentation; it is as though he has surprised his students with a lighter course topic as an end-of-term treat. And a treat I'm sure it is, to those who know more about Ghostbusters than me. Unfortunately, without realising that Bill Murray did anything before Groundhog Day, my ignorance leaves me in a dark tunnel of bewilderment (and probably a few ghosts).

In the midst of trivia and opinion-sharing, there is a tangibly awkward moment when O'Gorman refers to what he believes is the undeniable fact that all women transform into a sub-version of the dreaded Gozer the Gozerian once every month. Here I feel my own face become stony, a mutation relaying the lack of time I have for this unintentionally sexist comment.

This aside, it is still easy to crack a smile amidst the minor slip-ups, and there are plenty of grin-worthy moments throughout; O'Gorman's throwaway remarks are amusing, and his passion for the franchise is almost inspiring.

A slightly odd mix of nostalgia, admiration and humour, it is clear that the Ghostbusting world is close to O'Gorman's heart: this in itself is touching to watch. However, the niche topic of interest is inaccessible to those who have minimal knowledge of it, and its execution is far from polished. It is always pleasant to take a trip down memory lane for anyone who does remember what a proton pack is, but the rough delivery and occasionally weak jokes stop this from being anything particularly fantastic.

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