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The 1970s case that sparked headlines about supernatural activity has inspired a pair of stage productions. How does a fringe show compete with a starry West End behemoth?

The Enfield poltergeist case gripped the British media between 1977 and 1979, and is about to grip theatres 45 years later as two plays based on it share the limelight. Paul Voodini’s The Enfield Poltergeist has been playing at fringe events during the year, while The Enfield Haunting, written by Paul Unwin, and starring Catherine Tate and David Threlfall, will arrive in the West End in November.

Why the enduring fascination with the story? Voodini remembers the furore at the time, saying he had always been interested in “weird and wonderful things”, but what stuck out was: “It took place in a council house, a normal suburban setting, not an old haunted castle, stately home, or Transylvania.”

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