Theatre Review- The Woman in Black

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Theatre Review-The Woman in Black

     “The Woman in Black” is set in England a play that is meant to scare the audience and have them watching with bated breath. The story centers around a young solicitor, Arthur Kipps (Paul Chapman) who writes a play in order to tell of the terrible events that he survived. The plot involves the solicitor who is summoned to Crythin Gifford, a small market town which is completely cut off from the mainland. The main character has to attend to the funeral of Mrs. Alice Drablow, an elderly widow who lived alone in Eel Marsh House. While situated at this solitary market town he encounters a mysterious woman in black who seems to haunt the whole town. He finds the ‘woman in black’ haunting the house he has to stay in, Eel Marsh house. He has to deal with the deceased woman’s paper work and also encounters this mysterious woman in other areas of the town. Despite his questions, the locals refuse to help him and so Arthur must confront the sense of unease within the house and the appearances of the woman alone. Years on after the scarring event, Arthur Kipps asks a young Actor (Daniel Coonan) to help put on this play and describe the horrors he endured during his brief stay.

  There are only two actors through out the whole play, Paul Chapman and Daniel Coonan. They both clash as, in the beginning of the play; the Arthur Kipps who, at this point, is old is looking to re tell his story and meets the young actor who is the one who can help him re tell it. When Arthur Kipps goes to see this young actor he has aged a few years and they both are very different in age and their view point is as well this is shown by the personalities they portray. The young actor is a confident man wanting to include special effects into Arthur Kipps simple play write and Arthur Kipps is shy and out dated by not knowing the use of ‘sound effects’. Since there are only two actors, both have to change roles to a different character. Daniel Coonan only changes character once. He has the role of the young actor in the beginning but when they have to perform the play he becomes the young Arthur Kipps. He does this by changing his confident attitude of a pampered actor to a stressed hardworking man when trying to illustrate Arthur Kipps. However Paul Chapman has a multiple of small character roles which the young, past Arthur Kipps in the play has to feed off and use as interaction. Paul Chapman plays the recent Arthur Kipps in the very beginning of the play; he actually goes through the trauma. But when they have to perform the script Paul Chapman has to be the character of a horse tram driver, this includes him being mysterious. He also had to play the boss of the young Arthur this was done by placing a wooden box in front of him representing a desk. Daniel Coonan has to play a multiple amount of miscellaneous roles, they help move along the story line and moves the young character of Arthur to where he is meant to be. Character change is done by the simple change of attire and the voice changes to a different accent.

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Arthur Kipps is played by the young actor, however the story is being told through the words of the older Arthur Kipps, he represents a narrator and tells the events like he is there even though some one else is acting out the narration he is saying. This means we are experiencing the events in the past as told by Arthur Kipps in the future.

  The play of “The Woman in Black” is a straight forward mystery scary story where there is not much room for interpretation. Things are placed abstractly or done abstractly for example the use ...

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A well-structured personal response which uses some very good examples to support its points. Very good reference to many of the elements of drama and staging with these being linked on several occasions to their effect on the audience. All the main background to the play and its origin is clearly outlined in the introduction. The writer offers some details regarding the woman in black whilst avoiding spoilers which is also a commendable feature in the response. At times, particularly the first third, there is repetition and some points are confusing. The final two thirds of the response is extremely good and very clear in expression. There is a need to proof-read in order to amend errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar and to improve the quality of communication. ***