The Woman in Black. Regent Theatre
An adaptation of Susan’s Hill novel of the same name, it is great to see this spine chilling play at the Regent.
The story, much like the book, begins with an old and fragile Arthur Kipps beginning to read aloud his account of the terrible events he has endured.
He is however, shortly interrupted by an actor who informs him that he is reading the story much too tediously. Mr. Kipps has enlisted the help of the actor to help him retell his story to his family in an enjoyable and realistic way.
The retelling then begins with the actor adopting the role of Mr. Kipps and Mr. Kipps taking on the roles of the story’s other characters. We are taken from Kipps’ arrival at Eel Marsh house to his first encounter of The Woman in Black.
The theatre setting makes the play hugely intense, drawing the audience into the story. As Kipps experiences scares and frights, so do we. Glimpses of a dark figure in a corner, the sound of a rocking chair moving on its own, and blood curdling screams. The whole experience has the audience on the edge of their seats, nervously waiting for an appearance from The Woman In Black, in fact this play literally gets you off your seat at times.
The lights are dim throughout, with fog frequently rising amongst the stage and the crowd, restricting the view of the stage. The audience anticipates an appearance from the woman at every moment. She appears when least expected, terrifying, she is a pale, wasted figure appearing and disappearing in an instance.
The play would of course be nothing without the brilliant actors who portray the characters. Malcolm James and Matt Connor are the sole performers and they are both incredible, playing the parts brilliantly. We feel empathy with Samuel Daily, fear with Arthur, and the two actors bounce off each other’s energy brilliantly, bringing a comedic element to the production.
Whether you like ghost stories or not this play is worth your time. The thrill, fear and apprehension experienced is most definitely worth the price, and seeing such talented actors portray the parts is fantastic.
The Woman in Black is arguably one of the greatest ghost stories ever to be written, and this theatre adaptation is a truly frightful treat. Don’t miss out.
The production is directed by Robin Herford, with designs by Michael Holt, lighting by Kevin Sleep and sound by Gareth Owen. Produced by PW Productions Ltd.
Tickets are now on sale and are available from The Regent Theatre Box Office, by calling 0844 871 7649 or visiting www.atgtickets.com/stoke