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Nantucket's White Heron Theatre Releases M.R. James Story on Halloween

The Halloween episode of the Ghostlight Radio Series for 2020, will feature the story Whistle by Mark Shanahan.

Nantucket's White Heron Theatre today announced the release of a special Halloween episode of the Ghostlight Podcast Series to be released on Saturday, October 31 featuring Broadway veteran Drew McVety with performances by writer/actor Mark Shanahan and Artistic Director Lynne Bolton.

The episode is scheduled for broadcast on Halloween, Saturday, October 31 and Sunday, November 1 at 12 noon on Nantucket's NPR station WNCK and available to stream on most major platforms, including Simplecast, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify as well as the White Heron's website at .

The Halloween episode of the Ghostlight Radio Series for 2020, will feature the story Whistle by Mark Shanahan based on "O Whistle and I'll Come to you My Lad" by M.R James, a reading of Shaker Rocker by Blue Balliet from the book Nantucket Ghosts: 44 True Accounts and excerpted true stories from the island newspaper Inquirer and Mirror archives.

"M.R James (Montegue Rhodes James) was a medievalist and scholar during the early twentieth century," said Lynne Bolton, White Heron's artistic director. " He is best remembered for his ghost stories which some regard as among the best in the genre. This unique rendition of James' story brings the characters to life with compassion and a heartrending truth."

The original plays used in the Ghostlight Series were written and adapted by Mark Shanahan using source material from Blue Balliett's book Nantucket Ghosts, 44 True Accounts and in the final episode from a story by M.R James ghost story entitled "Oh Whistle and I'll come to you my lad".

"I have always loved James' very Irish Ghost story and I was excited to do an adaptation which set the story in a more modern age on Nantucket, " said Mark Shanahan, "It is a perfect story for Halloween and sound designer John Gromada and I were thrilled to collaborate on this good old-fashioned horror tale."

"Gromada's audio production and original music for this particular piece is stunning. He shapes the soundscape with remarkable dexterity and clarity and it's just so much fun for the listener," Shanahan said.

James redefined the ghost story for the new century by abandoning many of the formal Gothic clichés of his predecessors and using more realistic contemporary settings.

The episode is completed by a narration true stories retrieved from the archives of The Inquirer and Mirror, Nantucket's local newspaper.

"The stories recorded from the newspaper archives are particularly chilling as they are true accounts recorded almost 100 years ago," said Bolton. "It is fascinating to hear what was reported as news about encounters with ghosts and ghost ships by islanders."

The podcasts are available through most major streaming platforms as well as the White Heron Theatre website at, and will be broadcast on WNCK, Nantucket's public radio station at 12 p.m. on Saturday, October 31 and November1.

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