Catherine Tate to star in West End play about 1970s Enfield poltergeist

Comedian and actress Catherine Tate is to star in a West End play about the Enfield poltergeist, which is said to have wreaked havoc in a north London council house in the late 1970s.

The cast of The Enfield Haunting also includes David Threlfall, best known for his role as Frank Gallagher in the TV show Shameless.

Tate, 53, who has appeared in Doctor Who, Queen Of Oz, and her own series, The Catherine Tate Show, will play single mother Peggy Hodgson, who is trying to protect her three children from a disturbing supernatural force.

Talking about the play, Tate said: “I’m thrilled to be part of The Enfield Haunting and can’t wait to start working with the first-class creative team and the brilliant David Threlfall.”

Threlfall will portray ghost hunter Maurice Grosse, who was a real-life paranormal investigator who helped the Hodgson family.

The 69-year-old actor said: “I’m delighted to be reuniting with director Angus Jackson and working for the first time with the amazing Catherine Tate on Paul Unwin’s version of the UK’s most famous incident of psychological inhabitation, The Enfield Haunting, in 1977.”

Writer Unwin spent time with a poltergeist expert to learn what had happened to the Hodgson family.

He said: “Before Guy Lyon Playfair, the poltergeist expert, died in 2018, I spent a long afternoon with him in his basement flat in Earl’s Court.”

“He and Maurice Grosse had spent months with the Hodgson family trying to protect them, but also make sense of what was going on.

“What Guy told me was terrifying. So much of what appears to have happened was impossible to fake and yet at the centre of the whole thing were real people trying to make sense of their lives.

“The Enfield Haunting is a psychological ghost story. It is a ghost story for now.”

David Threlfall will star alongside Catherine Tate in The Enfield Haunting (Yui Mok/PA)

The play takes place over one spring night and is based on the account of one of the ghost hunters who visited 284 Green Street, Enfield, which was said to be haunted by a poltergeist that moved furniture and toys around.

Sixteen-year-old Janet was thought to be possessed and was reportedly seen floating 6ft in the air by the local lollipop lady.

The story was previously told in a TV drama series in 2015.

The Enfield Haunting will be staged at Brighton Theatre Royal and Richmond Theatre before moving to The Ambassadors Theatre in London for a limited West End season from November 30 2023 to March 2 2024.

The play’s first performance will take place in Brighton on Tuesday November 14.

Tickets will go on sale to ATG Theatre Card Holders at 10am Thursday July 13 at, with tickets going on general sale from 12pm.