Theatre Review: The Woman In Black @ The Fortune Theatre
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An adaptation of Susan's Hill novel of the same name, since 1989 London’s Fortune Theatre has been home to The Woman in Black - and almost three decades since its opening night, it is still a real privilege to see the spine chilling play in its home theatre. The story, much like the book, begins with an old and fragile Arthur Kipps beginning to read aloud his account of the terrible events he has endured. He is however, shortly interrupted by an actor who informs him that he is reading the story much too tediously. Mr. Kipps has enlisted the help of the actor to help him retell his story to his family in an enjoyable and realistic way. The retelling of the story then begins with the actor adopting the role of Mr. Kipps and Mr. Kipps taking on the roles of the story's other characters. We are taken from Kipps’ arrival at Eel Marsh house to his first encounter of The Woman in Black. The Fortune Theatre is a small venue, which makes the play hugely intense. Being close to the stage and the actors is extremely intimate, drawing the audience into the story. As Kipps experiences scares so do we: glimpses of a dark figure in a corner, the sound of a rocking chair moving on its own, and blood curdling screams. The whole experience has the audience on the edge of their seats, nervously waiting for an appearance from The Woman In Black.
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