Each weekend, well not literally EVERY weekend, but some weekends, I sit down in front of the telly and if there isn't any decent comedies on, I'll simply watch a horror movie instead, ok, ok, so maybe sometimes I'll pull a pillow over my head and then other times I'll jump and maybe even scream but they are fun to watch aren't they!?
So on the 27th march 2007 I was delighted when my year 10 drama class and I went to 'The Fortune Theatre' in London's west end to see the production of the woman in black.
The play was originally written as a story by Susan Hill and was adaptedas a play by a Mr Stephen Mallatratt the play has now been running in london's fortune theatre for about eighteen years.
The theatre itself didn't look that great, so things didn't get off to a good start, with all the surrounding theatres looking smart and pleasant, the 'Fortune theartre' looked a little out of place.
The production itslelf though, thankfully was of great quality, although the whole thing only consisted of two main actors and a woman 'the woman in black', the story was amazing and put across very well. I won't give away the whole plot but basically, 'The Woman In Black' is a play about the production title, the woman in black appears as a ghostly figure most of the time, she slowly unfolds a twisted and complicated, horrific mystery.It is also a play within a play.
The first scene is the introduction to the two main characters, both males, though one quite young and the other pretty old.The old man wants a production of past events in his life, the young one agrees that they can work together to complete the production under certain circumstances. Here the weird and twisted plot starts to unfold.
The old mans past is basically the whole plot, he once visited a haunted house when he was younger and the 'goings ons' inside the house is brought up and re-acted out with great use of special camera and light effects. The noise effects were also great, with all these uses of technical eqipment the production was able to become so realistic and believable. I found myself jumping at certain times, then a couple of times there was a recorded voice of a curdling scream which chilled blood and made members of the audince scream too. There were many other scary and freaky points to the production, none of which I will give away.
This is a preview of the whole essay
The part of the old man was played by Michael Burrel who has had a long and varied career as an actor appearing in 'casualty' and 'eastenders'! the part of the actor in the play was played by Dominic Marsh who studied Drama and music at the university of Birmingham and the royal acadamy of music.
The woman in black herself was played by Nathalie Bloch although in the programme she is under Vision Productions. She herself was also a main part of the play
I believe that all the actors in the play were brilliant as they adapted to their characters really well considering it was a play within a play and i often got confused.
The main theme in the play was revenge jenette humfrye (the woman in black) is vengeful of her sister because her sister adopted her son, so she tries to make everyone go through the pain she went through by punishing them that is why nobody talks of eel marsh house in crythin gifford
The only other production i have ever seen is sinbad and as i was a small child i thought it was kind of scary because this pirate man came up to me and said he didnt like smiling children like me so i was kinda freaked out.
This part of my review is on the effects e.g lighting, sound, set design and costume.
I thought that the lighting worked extremely well considering the different aspects in the play because in the beginning the house lghts stayed on untill both actors were onstage to resemble an empty theatre then they dimmed when they went into the play within the play and when the went back to normal when the actors came out of the play within a play. I also noticed that the lights were brighter on the woman in black when she appeared all the lighting was down to Kevin sleep.
The wardrobe for the production was quiet small and most of the costume changes involved changing only a jacket or scarf onstage to show changes of charecter the wardrobe was onstage and it was a coatrack with coats on it.
The special effects and sound i thought was the best compared to plays i have seen because no matter what the sound was coming from the back of the auditorium which made all the audience members turn around there were sounds for almost everything including talking and trains,the sound of the blood curdling scream was very real and very effective i think all the cues for sound were picked up brilliantly the sound in the production was all perfect because of Caroline Stroud.
The set design was pretty basic as it was supposed to be in an old theatre but there was also some complexity to it as there was also two more parts to the stage behind gauze, representing parts of eel marsh house.
To conclude my review of the 'woman in black' i will say that i have never seen a production as spine chilling and scary as this and i would definately LOVE to see it again.