A Night In The Dark With Danny Robins As The 'Uncanny: I Know What I Saw' Tour Lands In Bath

November 09, 2023 1:00 AM ‐ PodcastsParanormalTelevision
Uncanny: I Know What I Saw Tour
Danny Robins, not content with having a hit podcast and the most-talked-about television show over Halloween, is now touring the country on the 'Uncanny: I Know What I Saw' tour.

The tour kicked off in Leicester on October 10, but I patiently waited until Danny came to a town near me to see the show for myself.

As soon as I walked into the sell-out event at the Bath Pavilion, I realised this show was going to be much more epic than I'd imagined. As a stage show based on a podcast, I'd expected the format to be similar to that of a live podcast recording, perhaps with Danny sitting behind a desk, joined by a couple of experts.

I was wrong. The show was more like the television show than the podcast. Danny and the production team did an amazing job of bringing the two brand-new cases featured in the show to life visually, making their retelling engaging, immersive, and at times scary.

Including the roughly half-hour interval, the show clocked in at two hours and 20 minutes, kicking off not with the podcast's haunting theme tune by Lanterns on the Lake as you might expect, but with the 2013 song 'If You Have Ghosts' by Swedish rock band Ghost. As the song ended, Danny appeared on stage to rapturous applause in a replica of his famous shed, from which he puts his podcast together.

"Bloody hell, Bath!" Danny screamed as the claps and cheers died down. And Danny welcomed us to the Pavilion, but we weren't supposed to be there. The show was originally supposed to be held at The Forum, but fairly close to the event, there was a last-minute change of venue, and no one knew why - in fact, speculation about the reason for the change seemed to be the main topic of conversation before the show. Was it haunted? Well, it was sort of ghost-related. Danny told the audience, "The Forum is part owned by a religious group, and they found out the show was about the paranormal."

With his introduction out of the way, Danny slipped back into his 'Uncanny' role and introduced the show with his now famous words, "I'm Danny Robins, and this is 'Uncanny'" - this phrase is now so well known with listeners of the podcast that the audience actually joined in with this like a catchphrase, which garnered another round of applause as the familiar 'Uncanny' theme tune played.

Case One

Danny wasted no time getting stuck into the first of the night's two cases, neither of which have ever been heard anywhere before. I'd been wondering how this part of the show would work on stage. In the podcast, we hear from the witnesses in a carefully crafted interview, and the television version features the witness being interviewed. Obviously, it's not possible to bring two witnesses along on a 40-night tour, and in all fairness, they probably wouldn't have added to the show anyway.

Instead, we hear the first witness, Matthew's story told through video clips that are cleverly projected onto the wall of Danny's shed. The clips are short, punctuated with dramatic interjections from Danny, and of course, the odd well-crafted gag.

Obviously, I won't give too much away about this meaty case, but back in 2010, Matthew was working in a plumbing shop in Strood, Kent. He'd just moved into the flat above the shop with his new girlfriend Lisa, but before long they both felt an unsettling presence, which escalated with the news that the couple were expecting a baby.

After hearing Matthew's story, Danny introduced his panel of experts, which varies depending on the location. Representing Team Skeptic, you'll either have Chris French or Ciarán O'Keeffe, both psychologists who specialise in the weird. In Bath, it was the turn of Chris. Heading off against Chris in the paranormal equivalent of a rap battle and representing Team Believer was writer and parapsychologist Evelyn Hollow.

Chris and Evelyn were as insightful and interesting as always, sharing their theories about the case. As well as the experts, Danny also came to the audience for opinions, which were really valid and considered points that gave both Chris and Evelyn more to consider, especially Harriet, who put across a very eloquent and poignant theory despite being just nine years old.

Local Ghost Stories

Sally In The Woods, Bathford

The second half of the show started with some local ghost stories, something that Danny and his experts have been doing at each location as they travel around the UK.

Chris tells the audience about a grey lady that is said to haunt the Theatre Royal and the neighbouring pub, the Garrick's Head. Danny questioned whether these are "rival grey ladies next door to each other." Chris tells him about the conflicted origins of the tales. "It depends on which accounts you read whether or not it's the same grey lady," Chris explained. "Most people seem to think it is, but there's definitely two different stories, one from the theatre, one from the pub." Chris added with a mischievous grin, "But they're probably both made up, so it doesn't really matter." Chris added that what both of these hauntings have in common is that whenever the grey lady appears in either location, there's a smell of jasmine, presumably her favourite perfume.

Evelyn then tells us about a haunting in the 1970s in a private residence in the area of Oldfield Park in the south of the city: "People living in a bedsit witnessed an older gentleman standing on the landing, and as they were looking at him, the old man jumped and threw himself off the landing and vanished. No body ever hit the bottom." Evelyn joked, "I've never heard of a suicidal ghost before."

Danny then asked the audience for their ghost stories. The main one that was mentioned, and for good reason, was the legend of Sally in the woods, who, according to local legend, is a young girl who was murdered while playing in an area of woodland just outside of Bath.

The story is so famous that a stretch of the A363 that runs through the woods is now officially named Sally in the Woods', and is said to have had more than its fair share of unexplained, fatal car accidents. Drivers have reported hearing screams coming from the woods at night, others say they've seen a young girl run out into the road.

Case Two

Next, Danny got stuck into the second case of the night, the story of Del, who spent most of her career as a senior teacher in a secondary school. Del's story unfolded when she was a young child living in Morriston, a suburb of Swansea, in 1974. But their ordinary family home turned into a place of nightmares after a tragic event involving the family living next door. As with Matthew's case, the story is told well through a mix of narration from Danny and video clips of the witness, both cases even managed to pull off some scares with clever lighting and audio effects.

Once we'd heard from Del, Danny and his experts, again with the help of the audience, discussed the case, including the possible paranormal and rational explanations.

'Uncanny: I Know What I Saw' was a great night out, the show was interesting, engaging, interactive, and contained lots of laughs thanks to some good little gags built into the script, making it an all-round entertaining experience.

An added bonus to the show is that Danny and his experts man the merch table after the show, where they sign books and pose for selfies. This was a really nice touch to give every audience member who wants to meet the cast the chance. Danny and his experts are touring until December. There are still a limited number of tickets available for some venues, you can find out more here.

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