20 January 2020

The Woman in Black UK Tour Review

It's been over 30 years since Susan Hill's novel The Woman in Black was adapted to the stage and it's more than showing it's age.
The West End Cast. Matthew Spencer (The Actor). Photo Tristram Kenton
The tale is a fairly simple one to follow but a bit puzzling. A lawyer who has been obsessed with a curse that he feels is cast over him by a spectre, The Woman in Black. He engages a sceptical young actor to help him tell his tale and relieve him of the fear that is gripping him.

Two actors play the roles. Daniel Easton does a fine job with the role of the actor. He is engaging and plays the arc of the character with great skill. He's easily the best thing about this production. Robert Goodale acts well playing numerous roles but is ultimately a little quiet and I found myself struggling to hear him at times. Losing some of the dialogue certainly detracted from my experience.

This production feels dated visually and that detracts away from the atmosphere that the two actors try to create. Michael Holt's design is quite bare. Lots of hanging sheets and a large wicker basket. Kevin Sleep's lighting and Sebastian Frost's sound design is where much of the atmosphere is created but neither make it a particularly chilling experience.
The West End Cast. Matthew Spencer (The Actor) and Stuart Fox (Arthur Kipps). Photo Tristram Kenton
The play runs around an hour and forty minutes, including a 15-minute interval, and quite frankly even that felt a little long. The first act especially felt slow, not until the second act did the play really get going. The end revelation is a little predictable and that takes away from it once it comes. A play that promised a lot when it comes to scares but ultimately doesn't deliver. Disappointing.

Rating - ★★ dated and lacking in thrills and chills.

The Woman in Black plays at Curve until Saturday 25th January and continues touring thereafter. Visit https://www.thewomaninblack.com/ticket-info/uk-tour for more information.
The West End Cast. Matthew Spencer (The Actor) and Stuart Fox (Arthur Kipps). Photo Tristram Kenton

Post a comment

© Beyond the Curtain. Design by soleilflare.