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The Woman in Black theatre review

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Introduction

The Woman in Black: Theatre Review On the 19th April I attended the performance of 'The Woman in Black' in the New Theatre in Cardiff. Not only was the spine tingling ghost story very well performed and presented but it also had the eerie effect that made you jump out of your seats at unexpected moments, especially as it climaxed towards the end. The Woman in Black was first performed at the theatre-by-the-sea in Scarborough back in 1987. The original production received enthusiastic reviews, making the way for future productions throughout the country. It reached the West End in 1989 where it has drawn in audiences ever since. 'The Woman in Black' is about a young man and junior solicitor, Arthur Kipps who visits the tall and isolated Eel Marsh House to sort out papers after the death of Alice Drablow, a woman who lived and died alone in the house after giving up her only son to her sister. Being alone in the house during his stay, apart from having a friendly dog for a companion, makes him more suspicious yet unaware of the real story behind her death and as the story progresses he becomes more and more curious. ...read more.

Middle

When first starting to explain the story, old Mr Kipps was unsure of how to tell the story and create an atmosphere to set the first scene. This worked well as it meant that it created more suspense when he actually started to put feeling into the narration and brought the story alive as it progressed to the more dramatic scenes in the middle of the play. At the beginning this also added comedy as when the director is telling Mr Kipps to speak up, he constantly talks quietly, and this repetitiveness added a funny side as a contrast to the start and finish of the production. At the start the old Mr Kipps was interpreted very well and the young actor who plays the young Mr Kipps really portrayed the likeness in the old Mr Kipps when re-enacting the story. The use of tone and voice of the narrator, a very sly and menacing voice, also old Mr Kipps, was very well established and set the scenes well. The two actors held the audiences attention throughout the whole play no matter what role they were playing and the kept a high and tension for the whole performance and they both worked well together. ...read more.

Conclusion

sound that really made the whole piece was the woman in black's screaming which set everyone off into a spine- tingling terror when played in some scenes. The sound effects were played in dim lighting so that when you couldn't see what was happening you had vivid images in your head of the scene they were trying to create. Such as the scene where the nursery maid and the little boy crash into the marshes and drown, we can see scary and clear images of them dying and we use our imagination as much as we can to see in our minds what it would look like. This worked well as everyone then had there own interpretation of there own fear of what might be happening in the scenes instead of actually seeing something that someone else has portrayed on the stage. Other sounds were ticking clocks, horse shoes hitting the road, horses neighing and another eerie trademark sound, the rocking chair. Overall I think that this is a very well performed play and really achieves what it has set out to do and really recreates the story of 'The Woman In Black' which leaves us almost scarred and stays in our memories to haunt us. ...read more.

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