Our reader, Kylie, went to see The Woman in Black at the Fortune Theatre. Check out what she thought!
The Woman in Black, currently playing in London’s Fortune Theatre achieves what so many big budget Hollywood productions fail to achieve. With two men, two chairs and a wicker basket, the Woman in Black takes the audience through an increasingly unnerving exploration of a truly frightening tale. The story begins with Arthur Kipps, an aging lawyer (played by Ken Drury) with a story to tell. He enlists the help of a young actor (played by Richard Best) in the hopes that his assistance will enable him to learn the art of engaging story telling, and that once this awful story is told he will be free of it.
The two men then work through the scenes of the story as they are written within an old notebook, with the old man at first struggling with the characterisation of his tale. The young actor then takes the reins, playing the part of a younger Kipps as they rehearse the story, with Kipps playing the roles of other minor characters along the way. As the story unfolds, all pretense is forgotten as Kipps becomes progressively adept at playing the characters in his tale. Richard Best does a commendable job as the actor playing the part of the young lawyer sent to isolated Eel Marsh manor to handle the estate of the recently deceased Alice Drablow.
The appearance of the Woman in Black terrorises all who see her – we were holding back screams from the safety of our seats, and so we believe that this production is best suited to an adult audience. Whilst the Woman in Black is lacking some of the pizazz (and legroom!) of other popular London productions, the starkness and simplicity of this production only further highlights the talent on the stage and keeps the attention of the audience firmly focused where it should be – on the story.