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The Woman In Black - Nottingham Review

Reviewed by Elle Milford
Disclaimer: tickets were gifted in return for an honest review.

The perfect winter thriller for those seeking some chill.

The Woman in Black is a chilling tale of a mysterious ghost that haunts a small English town. A stage play adapted from the 1983 gothic horror by Susan Hill, showing an actor helping the older Arthur Kipps to stage his experience whilst working at Eel Marsh House when an elderly Mrs Drablow passes away and needs her estates sorting. 

Mark Hawkins in The Woman In Black. Photo by Mark Douet.

The Actor who multi-roles into the younger version of Arthur Kipps, played by Mark Hawkins, gave a fresh performance and brought such charisma and bounce that it felt as though the script had come alive. The actor had incredible control of their tone and also of their physicality that really shone through with the jump scares as he threw himself across the stage. 

Arthur Kipps, played by Malcolm James, brought a really vulnerable side to the characters he plays within the play, from the nervous, older Arthur Kipps to the bigshot and generous Samuel Daily, using mime and change of voice to show the different characters.

Both Mark Hawkins and Malcolm James had such a beautiful on stage chemistry that it felt as though they bounced off of each other. This was presented by the brilliant comedic timing as shown when young Arthur Kipps and Samuel Daily introduce the lovable character of Samuel Dailys dog, Spider, the action whilst funny felt almost as though there was an actual dog with them on stage. 

Photo by Mark Douet.

A simple set to support the many and various locations of the stories retelling and lighting that brought intensity and alerted the audience of the ghostly presence on stage made it simple to follow without giving too many secrets away too early on.

What made this show so creepy was the atmosphere from the audience and the theatre itself. The audience jumped and screamed at every scare and really embraced the comedic elements of the storytelling as well. In terms of the theatre, it is smaller than most so felt more intimate and felt that the audience remained engaged as the retelling felt more personal. A perfect play for students studying either drama or English or the perfect thriller to watch between Halloween and Christmas for those who like to jump.

The Woman In Black plays at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal until Saturday 2nd December 2023. Tickets are available from The tour continues with dates booking into 2024. Visit for full tour dates.

Photo by Mark Douet

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