Essay on Women in Black

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Essay on Women in Black

On Tuesday 2nd March, we went to see, “Women In Black” at Fortune Theatre in London. The play is about a man named Arthur Kipps who seeks advise from an actor. He is then telling the story, of himself, as a young solicitor who goes to Eelmarsh house to deal with affairs that are about to confront him. At the house he discovers a mysterious woman in black called Jenet Humphrey’s.  The setting takes place in the town of Crithin Gifford. Through evidence presented in the production we are able to tell the time period is the 20th century. For example, the steam trains and the old colours and outfits. Jenet Humphrey’s was forced to give up her baby because she was not married. In those days this was forbidden, Jenet’s sister Alice Drablow adopted the child and rejected Jenet from seeing the child.

  The use of the set was really effective because of the different staging and gauzes. In the beginning of the play and also throughout the play, it appears as a run down theatre. This is shown by many things, for example, the material, the wood, scaffolding, the tatty gauze, the bucket collecting the drips, the clothes rail and the chairs. The set looks simple but versatile. The main prop that enhanced the set was the wicker basket. It added depth to the set because it was a small prop yet still brought detail such as the information, documents and letters inside the box. The steps that the woman in black stepped down onto were effective as she was “walking in the grave”. This made it seem mysterious. The most effective theatrical tool used in the production was the gauze. Gauze is a screen that when the light is shone directly on, it is opaque. But becomes transparent, allowing the audience to see previously hidden areas, when light behind the gauze is used. The use of the gauze was fantastic as there were three main settings: the ‘run-down theatre’, the nursery behind the first gauze and the gobo of the staircase behind the second gauze. A simple sheet was used to cover the furniture and appear as a graveyard before it was exposed to reveal the nursery.  The nursery was really detailed and this made the audience understand and realise how much the child was loved by all the amount of toys and things the child had. The nursery was realistic and was the only naturalistic set.

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   The use of lighting and gauzes added dimension to the set and was effective because it uncovered hidden areas that made a small set appear much more realistic and bigger. The door could only be seen when the light shone on it, which was quite clever as it was only seen when needed and was effective as this added more intensity.  I think the set was simple, yet the gauzes were effective in creating the proper atmosphere for the play.  

   The use of colours were limited, however when used were used well. Sepia was the main colour, ...

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