The Woman in Black at the Fortune Theatre
An evening of jumps, frights and terror is in store for anyone venturing to the Fortune Theatre to watch The Woman in Black.
This rendition’s story is different from either the book, by Susan Hill, or the 2012 film, directed by James Watkins, and yet the ghastly woman with her darkened clothing is an haunting constant. So much does her reputation precede her that even in the gentle opening scene between the actor, played by Matt Connor, and Arthur Kipps, played by Malcom James, the audience are looking out for her with a sense of trepidation.
This relatively casual opening exchange belies to rest of the play which unnerves and delights in equal measure as the woman in black seems to almost literally haunt the stage. It conforms to many of the tropes of the standard jump-horror genre with a very impressive use of lighting and stage space to build up suspense to just the right tension before releasing it and causing a lot of screaming, gasping and the uttering of profanities.
The play does offer more than just a couple of jumpy moments too and the acting of Malcom James is a treat to behold. He switches characters as the play unfolds with wonderful ease and encourages the audience to become invested in Mr. Kipps’ ghostly story the whole while.
One potential criticism that could be levied at this piece is its lack of depth in regards to the plot. Whilst the mystery running through the heart of the play rivets and entices, a feeling of superficiality as to the character of the woman in black is felt. Her motives for haunting the house in which the narrative takes place are never questioned and on leaving, once the adrenaline has stopped pumping through the audience’s veins, some disappointment with the plot is felt.
The Woman in Black is on at the Fortune Theatre from 16th March 2016 until 21st January 2017. Book your tickets here.
Watch a trailer for The Woman in Black here: