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The play I will be reviewing is called the Woman in Black, adapted by Stephen Mallatratt from the novel by Susan Hill. I viewed it on September the 17th at the Fortune Theatre in London.

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Introduction

Theatre Review The play I will be reviewing is called the Woman in Black, adapted by Stephen Mallatratt from the novel by Susan Hill. I viewed it on September the 17th at the Fortune Theatre in London. The Woman in Black is a Gothic ghost/horror story set around the Victorian period in which Eel Marsh House surveys the windswept reaches of the salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway. Arthur Kipps (Brian Miller), a junior solicitor, is summoned to attend the funeral of Mrs Alice Drablow, the house's sole inhabitant, unaware of the tragic secrets that lie hidden behind the shuttered windows. It is not until he glimpses a wasted young woman, dressed all in black, at the funeral, that a creeping sense of unease begins to take hold, a feeling deepened by the reluctance of the locals to talk of the woman in black - and her terrible purpose. Years later, as an old man, he recounts his experiences to an actor (William Rycroft) in a desperate attempt to exorcise the ghosts of the past. ...read more.

Middle

The use of sound was very impressive, sudden loud noises worked brilliantly at creating even more tension and frightening the audience. One of the props used well was a large wicker basket; it was used to store financial documents in the house, as a table on the train journey, and most comically as a seat on a horse and cart, with the two passengers bouncing up and down to show the movement. Sound effects were also used to create more realistic scenes by adding background sound, for example in the scene between Kipps and his senior, sounds from the street could be heard, such as voices, horses and carts and many other sounds that we normally don't pay any attention to, this worked very well. The makeup on the woman in black worked wonderfully to show her ghostly character, the black of her dress highlights her horrid face, it also works well at the end where just her head suddenly appears out of a black background in a spotlight. ...read more.

Conclusion

The older Kipps used a slow and droning tone, almost lifeless. The use of silence to create tension was a key part in the success of this play, and was used fantastically; the slightest unexpected noise would send the audience into a hail of screams. An example of this was when the torch fell from the man back pocket by mistake, and the whole theatre erupted with screams, this shows the amount of tension that was created, by him being in a dark place making no noise. This was what the play excelled at. I believe that the play was successful at entertaining the audience overall, but could substantially improve the first half in order to keep the audiences attention. The play was the best use of sound effects I have seen yet, which impressed me greatly since they were all very simple, yet extremely effective. Despite its overall success I don't think I would recommend it to a friend or family member to go to see this, I have viewed many other plays, which have been a lot more enjoyable and kept my attention focused for the whole performance. Drama Coursework ...read more.

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