Matthew Holness Pens A Ghost Story For Christmas

❉ Amanda Abbington, Reece Shearsmith and John Sessions star in new adaptation of M.R. James’ The Ash Tree.

“I find M. R. James’ The Ash Tree perhaps the most disturbing of all his ghost stories… It’s been a real pleasure adapting this uniquely stark and sombre tale for audio.” – Matthew Holness

Matthew Holness, best known for TV series Garth Merenghi’s Darkplace and his critically lauded debut feature Possum, has penned a new audio ghost story for Christmas: an updating of the classic M.R. James story The Ash Tree.

The modern-day full-cast adaptation stars Amanda Abbington (Sherlock), Reece Shearsmith (Inside No 9) and John Sessions (Stella Street). It will be released on CD and download on December 6th 2019, from www.bafflegab.co.uk.

Following the death of her parents, Rachel Fell (Amanda Abbington) invests her inheritance in Castringham Hall, a derelict Tudor house in East Suffolk. Rachel and her husband Simon (Reece Shearsmith) embark upon a project to renovate and restore the ruined house – once the family home of Rachel’s distant ancestors – to its former glory, and hire a local historian, Mr Crome (John Sessions), to research the Fell family history.

But Crome’s accounts of her relative Sir Matthew Fell’s strange and untimely death, and of the ‘Castringham sickness,’ a disease afflicting the surrounding wildlife, fall on deaf ears. Tensions rise as Rachel antagonises locals with her decision to unearth an unhallowed grave bordering the estate, and as her strained relationship with Simon deteriorates, the couple grow further apart than ever.

Despite Simon’s attempts at reconciliation, Rachel moves into the room where her cursed ancestor, Matthew Fell, was discovered one morning, ‘dead and black’.

The room beside the ancient, dying Ash Tree…

Matthew Holness says: “I find M. R. James’ The Ash Tree perhaps the most disturbing of all his ghost stories, combining a dark atmosphere of supernatural horror with a grim study of human cruelty. It’s been a real pleasure adapting this uniquely stark and sombre tale for audio.”


The Ash Tree stars Amanda Abbington, Reece Shearsmith and John Sessions, and is out on CD and download, via Bafflegab, on December 6th.

❉ News source: Bafflegab Productions.

❉ We Are Cult is not responsible for the content of this news release.

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