Newest Review: ... lights go down, more smoke is put into the theatre and the story begins. Arthur Kipps (played by Ken Drury) takes the stage and begins ... more
The Woman In Black at the Fortune Theatre
Woman in Black
Member Name: linzeelou
Woman in Black
Advantages: Scary, great cast
Disadvantages: Run down theatre
On a recent trip to London, I went to see The Woman in Black at the Fortune Theatre in London's Covent Garden. After seeing the film, which was terrifying, I was a little nervous about seeing this play. My flatmate and I had to go to a matinee as it wasn't being shown the night we were in London and we managed to get front row seats for a really good price.
As we walked into the theatre, it was filled with smoke which set the scene really well. Walking into that theatre made me think back to the film and the scary, misty moors near the dead woman's house and it instantly made me a bit creeped out. Unfortunately, as this was a matinee, there was a school visit and the theatre full of teenagers ruined my mood quite quickly.
The lights go down, more smoke is put into the theatre and the story begins. Arthur Kipps (played by Ken Drury) takes the stage and begins to read out the beginning of his tale. However, he is quickly interrupted by an actor (played by Adam Best) running down the center isle of the theatre, who tells him to start over again and to put some feeling into the reading. Kipps has come to the actor in order to get his story heard, to have some help and advice about how to tell it to his family. The beginning of the play is quite funny, with Kipps and the actor arguing about what should be done and how it should be done.
However, the actor soon takes over, convincing Kipps to play out the parts and the actor to play a younger Kipps. This is where the story really gets going and although there are a few small breaks in-between scenes, with Kipps and the actor going home for the day etc., it is quite smooth going and it wasn't very disjointed at all. The play, while slightly different to the film in places, explains what happened to Kipps once he went to Eel Marsh House.
There are only two actors names for this play. There is actually three although it doesn't say anywhere who actually plays the woman in black. All three actors were fantastic in their parts and very convincing. Drury shows real concern about performing his story and even more concerned about even telling it. He seemed like a really lovely old man who really did play the part well. Then there is Best who plays the actor. He adds some humour into a very dark and dramatic play which lightens up the story a little bit for the audience.
The woman in black was absolutely terrifying and I really wish we could know who played her. The few times she does pop up throughout the play scared me to death and I wasn't expecting it all of the time. Sometimes she is right near the audience, running down the aisles and popping up right in front of the front row. The set of this play is very basic with only 2 sets of scenery being used. However, there were some inventive ways of showing the woman in black and hiding her on stage so that she could jump out.
This play is obviously one not suitable for children although the teenagers in the theatre seemed to enjoy it as much as I did. There was plenty of screaming throughout the play which shows just how scary it was. I would definitely recommend seeing this play, especially if like me, you didn't think a play would scare you.
Summary: A great play