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Carry On Screaming!
Woman in Black
Woman in Black
Date: 11/12/01, updated on 10/02/04 (227 review reads)
Advantages: Jumps, Screams, Scares
Disadvantages: that it had to end!
Pull up a chair. Come here by the fire. I want to tell you story. I'm not impersonating Max Bygraves! I want to tell you a story so frightening that it will make you scream. A tale of horror, redemption, unrequited love and terror. You will grab hold of your partner in fright. But your partner will will be scared too. So don't try and grab onto them as they may not be there when you need them! I'm going to tell you the tale of The Woman In Black.........
THE FORTUNE THEATRE- TACKY OR THRILLING
The Woman In Black has been playing for 13
years at the Fortune Theatre in London. Situated near Convent Garden- you may think as you arrive- "What am I coming to see?" As you walk into the theatre which is in need of lick of paint you may think that the old building is a bit tacky. Gold bars surround the box office and the carpets look fit for the bin. But it's only when you take your seat to watch this popular chiller that you realise that the theatre suits the play. It's not tacky. It's eccentric looking, old, creaky and even a trip to the loo during the interval will make you jump! With its low ceilings and low hanging balcony and long gawdy curtains- The Fortune Theatre adds to The Woman In Black experience.
I SEE DEAD PEOPLE......AGAIN!
Imagine every ghost story that you have been told and up the fear factor by 10! Did you enjoy The Others and The Sixth Sense? Did these films make you jump? Imagine the intimacy of a very old West End theatre. A woman sits in a rocking chair- moving violently. Two men recall a blood curdling tale of death, destruction and ultimately revenge as the figure they describe walks amongst you! You will need more than a Werthers Originals bag to grab during the interval, I assure you! The hook to grab you is in the story-telling in the first part of act one. You will see nothing at first. The
build up is dramatic enough to make up for this.
I do not want to go into too much plot detail as this would totally ruin the play. But like recent films The Others and What Lies Beneath- the fear here is actually what you do not see. You will hear screams but you do not know where they are coming from. You will see a face of fear and then after one blink of your eye that face is gone. Or is she? The cleverness of the imagery on show here is that once you have shut your eyes to block your fear- the face returns in your imagination- like a bolt from the blue. Just when you recover from that shock- there is another one waiting in the wings! Lighting takes the place of flying limbs and chainsaws. This is an old fashioned play but one which offers you brand new thrills without once resorting to bloodshed in place of suspense.
There are only two actors in The Woman In Black. They dominate the stage with every twitch, stare and excellent use of red herring scares. As the two recall their tale- you will find yourself cowering in your seat. You will also forget that you have watched two actors act like their lives depended on it. The stage is so filled with your imagination and mind playing tricks on you that you forget you are watching a play.
Who needs a huge cast when the suspense is this good?!!
GRIPPING, SIMPLE EFFECTS
Mist,darkness, bright torches, candles, rocking chairs, gravestones- all of the classic thriller mise en scene are evident from every angle of the stage. With an excellent use of sound and superb lighting effects- you will see why The Woman In Black is still working its magic on audiences after all these years. The simple things in life are used to great effect here. But there is more than enough going on for you not to get bored or think about why you aren't watching a bigger budget play with a sta
SUSPENSE IS THE KEY
The key to the success of the play is the suspense. As the plot unfolds it reminds you of reading a great book. You are keen to find out what happens next. The fast moving plots of Hollywood films are forgotten as you are taken back to the Hitchcock school of suspense where less is more. If you like 'fast' plays which cover alot of plot at a fast rate- then maybe this is not for you. The play is slow but effectively so. The term 'slow burning' was invented for this production. Once you surrender yourself to the fear that is the key to it all- you will have a great time.
SCREAM IF YOU WANNA GO FASTER
If you like to watch things that go bump in the night and laugh at it all afterwards nervously, this play is for you. I have never seen an audience jump so much in my life. When the play started you could almost feel the "Come on then. Scare me!" vibe coming from the audience. This soon turned into "Leave Me Alone!" after the first hour! The contrast in the audiences mood was really noticeable! Was I scared? Um...yeah! The effect that this play has on you is unlike anything else. If you scare easily it may be best to see Starlight Express. The mythology that the production has garnered is well documented. But is any of it justified? Well, I have seen The Woman In Black twice now and both times- I have heard screaming- not from the stage! I heard screaming from the stalls! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
The Woman In Black is playing at the Fortune Theatre, London.
Over two million people have seen the play.
"DON'T GO UNLESS YOU LIKE BEING SCARED OUT OF YOUR WITS." Sunday Mirror
"PREPARE FOR SLEEPLESS NIGHTS." Daily Express
"A BRILLIANTLY EFFECTIVE SPINE CHILLER- IT PLAYS ON ALL OUR PRIMAL FEARS." The Gu
"A TRULY NERVE SHREDDING EXPERIENCE."
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Thanks for reading. You can turn the light off now!
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