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Woman in Black - Theatre Evaluation

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Introduction

Portfolio Task 3 - Evaluation phase (20 marks) On Monday 21st July 2008 we attended an evening performance of "The Woman in Black" at the Fortune Theatre situated in London. The play is an adaptation of a novel written by Susan Hill and the playwright in which adapted it was Stephen Mallatratt. The play involves only 2 actors; Ben Porter and Sean Baker. Ben Porter plays the part of the actor and stays as this character throughout the piece. Sean Baker plays a character called Mr Kipps who uses the technique called multi-rolling, which means playing all the other parts encountered throughout the play, and also "The Woman in Black" who is not listed in the programme giving extra effect for when she appears. The plot of the play explores the concept of human fears in the form of a ghost story. Techniques such as anticipation, suspense and the suggestion of the supernatural are used throughout the play. All these techniques need to be applied successfully in order to create the atmosphere intended. ...read more.

Middle

The way in which the actors used the stage and space given was really good. They used the entire stage as well as moving among the audience making me feel more involved in the production. As well as the movement being very realistic so was the relationship between the two actors. At the very start they were two people who had just met and that showed in the way they addressed one another and as it went on you could see they were getting to know each other better and that they were becoming closer just by the way that they were interacting with one another. Throughout the play both actors go through a number of different character. To do this effectively they both use different pitches and accents for each different character therefore when playing that character the audience would know which accent belonged to which character. "The Woman in Black" was a silent character was used her body language to bring fear into the room and didn't show her face until completely necessary. ...read more.

Conclusion

The play was set in the 1950's so the costumes used were to fit in with the era. The costumes were simple yet very old fashioned. All the costumes that were used were hung up on a clothes rail and used a prop within the show. When a character changed they would take it straight of the rack and you would know which character was who just by that item. For example an umbrella or a pair of glasses. By doing it this way it kept the play at a reasonable pace building up and keeping the suspense. The costume and makeup of the "woman" was all black with a ghostly white face this gives a gloomy look to the character causing it to have a more mysterious effect. I think overall the costumes and make up suited the production and was appropriate to all characters. I thoroughly enjoyed the performance and my overall impression of it is that it is a very successful play in the way it creates suspense and fear through stage. It gave me a huge adrenaline rush and I would be more than happy to see it again. ...read more.

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