Theatre Thursday: The Woman in Black

376690_852383864966_1649084091_nHappy Theatre Thursday everyone! I would like to take the time, during this most special of days, to talk about one of my favourite plays/musicals out there in the theatre world! This week- a particularly chilling one: The Woman in Black by Susan Hill. Originally written as a novel and adapted for the stage by Stephen Mallatratt, it was produced on the big screen in 2012 and is also a currently running West End Production( the second longest running non-musical in fact) about to be celebrating its 25th anniversary!

Some of you might have seen the blockbuster hit starring Daniel Radcliffe- which was actually not a bad movie. I genuinely enjoyed it and was truly terrified at times- a sign of a good horror film! I do sometimes wonder if there’s something perverse about intentionally putting yourself in a position where you are very nearly peeing your pants…

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The Woman in Black coincidentally stars one of my favourite Irish actors, who I have met and drank with numerous times while working at the Abbey Theatre–  the brilliant Ciaran Hinds. In the film he plays Mr.Daily, the local townsman in charge of showing Arthur Kipps around town. It is with a great deal of hesitation and foreboding that the Woman in Black’s story is slowly revealed to both characters and audiences…

Arthur Kipps is called on a job to a small forlorn English town of Crythin Gifford (England) to settle the affairs of a recently deceased client. Leaving his wife and child behind he embarks on the journey anxious to get the job done quickly. Little does he know the mystery that enshrouds the town and the dark ghost that haunts it..

While holed up in Ms. Drablow’s house, which incidentally becomes cut off from the mainland by the tide each evening, queer events, noises and sightings haunt Arthur, prompting him to enquire who the mysterious lady is…

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Through a series of stories and recollections we find out Alice Drablow lost her own son in a terrible accident and now haunts the manor where she previously lived, and seeks her vengeance upon living children; once spotted, it is certain a child will die in the next couple days.

While perhaps not the most lighthearted play it is a must see for horror nuts like me! And its a thrilling experience to watch live in a small theatre- the set was incredible and multi-dimensional, the ghost appearing out of nowhere, chairs rocking all on their own, and spooky music setting the mood.

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( The view from my seat in the Fortune Theatre- you can see what a small, steep space it is!)

Best of all- it’s playing in Covent Garden which is perhaps one of my favourite areas in London! Ah there’s nothing like  walking through the streets of London on a dark night after watching a scary show…
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Bottom line- go see it! A highly entertaining, gasp inducing, sitting on the edge of your seat, biting your fingernails kind of show. And I would bet it would be great no matter where you see it. My friend told me he saw it played at a university in a tiny studio box theatre and it was one of the best/most frightening experiences of his life! How often do you get the chance to see a spine chilling, blood curdling, hair raising LIVE show anyway?

Make sure to check out this space every Thursday for a NEW Theatre Thursday post where I was talk about some of my favourite theatrical productions!

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