The Woman in Black
Reviewed by Stevie Jay
Cunningly adapted Stephen Mallatratt’s stage version of Susan Hill’s horror fiction is best described as a play within a play. Stephen’s uses traditional theatrical methods innovatively.
Part one sees the audience introduction to Arthur Kipps (Robert Goodale) an old man who solicits the help of The Actor (Daniel Easton) a younger man to tell his ghastly life narrative but what unfolds is a haunted disarrange of play and life. The narrative tells a tale of deep love betrayal loss, and revenge mutually woven from the past to the present through imaginary and physical corridors.
The stage set was simple yet affective, the grey smoke special effects and sound in concert with the audience imagination culminates in intrigue, silence that increased suspense which created arousal with ‘hide behind the seat’ moments. The great use of lighting highlights a spooky silo wet of Alice Drablow’s mansion. The grave yard scenes increased the suspense and trepidation as to what might be lurking in the El marshes. An imaginary dog through effectual choreographed mime brings a light into the dark
There are some frightful moment’s spine chilling screams and the clever use of light reveal a mystifying ghostly woman inducing fright and terror in the audience.
The production is well constructed; though initially the scene changes appeared syncopated and clumpy. However the shock and suspense tactics had the desired effect on the many school parties who had venture out. The two girls sitting in front spent most of their time huddled together halfway down their seats.
Interesting twist at the end no appearance of ‘the woman in black’ for the curtain calls.
If you want to be thrilled entertained and use your imagination this is for you, once you get through the rather laborious exhibition at the start.
Rating: 4 stars
27 Nov 2019 – 29 Nov 2019
Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
Box office 0844 871 7607