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woman in black essay

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Introduction

Our GCSE Drama group went to see 'The Woman In Black' at the Fortune Theatre, London on the 24th March 2009. The play is written by Stephen Mallatratt and the performance was put on by PW Productions. It is set in the early 20th century, on the eerie marshes of the east coast. Basic Plot The main concept that the audience have to immediately realise, is that 'The Woman In Black' is a play within a play, so there are only two actors: Arthur Kipps, played by Andrew Jarvis and a young actor who is not given a name, played by Timothy Watson. As the play begins, the audience learn that Mr Kipps is a troubled, old man who has had to deal with a terrifying experience which he cannot forget. He believes that if he can tell his family the story, it will be laid to rest. Mr Kipps hires a small, forgotten theatre in which to tell his story, as well as a young actor to help him in how to tell it. However, it soon becomes clear that Mr Kipps has never acted before, so in order to tell the story, the young actor and Mr Kipps switch roles. Mr Kipps uses multirole to play all the different characters he has met. This is essential because he is the one that has actually met them, so can portray their behaviour accurately. ...read more.

Middle

He was successful because he managed to maintain the interest of the audience and make them empathise with him. The nervous body language showed that Kipps was out of his comfort zone when acting. However, once he got into the different roles, with the help of props, he used gestures and posture to show the different characters he was playing. The Woman in Black's walk almost looked as if she was floating, making her eerie, mysterious and supernatural. Her sudden appearances kept the audience on edge, because they did not know what was going to happen next. Characters * Young Actor, also plays: the Young Mr Kipps * Arthur Kipps, also plays: Tomes, the solicitor's clerk, Bentley, the solicitor, Samuel Dailey, a local businessman, Pub landlord, Jerome, a local man, Keckwick, pony and trap driver. * Alice Drablow, the deceased woman * Jennet Humfrye, Alice's sister and the Woman In Black * Nathaniel Humfrye, Jennet's son, who was adopted by Alice and her husband due to the fact that he was illegitimate. Use of Space and Set Both actors used the performance space well, for they made sure that they projected and were visible to the whole audience. At one point, the Young Actor climbed across the scaffolding, so they definitely used all the space available. Also, the Woman in Black and the Young Actor used the aisles in the audience. This was not only shocking and scary, but it made the audience feel included and absorbed into the play. ...read more.

Conclusion

The sound of the pony and trap made it seem as though the horse was galloping past you, which made you feel like part of the story. I particularly liked the ending, when there is a grim realisation that the Young Actor is in trouble, for he could see the Woman In Black. He had assumed that Mr Kipps had hired another actor to play her, but after thanking him for it, there is a strong, emotional connection between the two as the horror of what is going to happen dawns on them. It is also effective because the audience know what is going to happen, but the play ends on a cliffhanger, leaving it up to the audience to decide what happened next. I also thought the use of props was very effective, because they were all simple, everyday objects but were used in different positions and combinations to show many other objects. They were also an easy reminder that it was a play within a play, which the audience had to keep reminding themselves of. If I was the director of the play, I would introduce the character of the Woman In Black later on in the play, for I think the audience saw her two early. Lots of tension could have been built up by just getting fleeting glances of her, which not everybody would see. It would make her character seem more mysterious and haunting for the audience. ...read more.

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