The Woman in Black has gained some popularity over the past few months, most notably because of the blockbuster thriller starring the former Harry Potter-Daniel Radcliffe. Although the movie wasn't a favorite with the critics, the West End production at the Fortune Theatre (Russell Street) does not disappoint, with a 23 year run on the West End and 7 million viewers (and growing...) under its belt.
I dared to see the show this past weekend and all I can say is that there should be a warning for anyone with a heart condition, it's THAT good.
The play starts off with an elderly gentleman Arthur Kipps (David Acton) who seeks The Actor (Ben Deery) for his acting experience to help him tell an ominous story of his life that is bound up in a thick, black book. With the first session it's apparent Mr. Kipps is not the acting type, but is very adamant that this play is meant for no audience, just his loved ones- so that they may understand his life. After a few sessions Mr. Kipps starts to come out of his shell and plays the variety of entering and exiting characters in his story, while The Actor plays a young Mr. Kipps.
The story takes place a number of decades back when Mr. Kipps was young, happy and engaged. He is sent to Eel Marsh House to take care of Mrs. Alice Drablow's estate, who has just recently passed away. Upon his arrival at Eel Marsh he encounters a number of residents who avoid speaking about Marsh House or the ever frightening presence of the woman in black. Kipps keeps encountering the woman in black at every turn, along with chilling events inside the Marsh House, which lead him to uncover the haunting story of the house and the woman in black.
Great sound effects, lighting, and spot on character acting especially from David Acton (Arthur Kipps) will have everyone in the audience on the edge of their seat, or clutching their mate's hand by the second act.
Exciting news! We've recently added even more West End hits to our ever expanding theatre break options. So in order to help you figure out which production is right up your alley, we wrote a little synopsis for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!
1.) Noises Off - (Venue Old Vic Theatre) Created by famed playwright Michael Frayn, Noises Off is an uproarious piece of theatre consisting of a play within a play and what occurs behind the scenes. Love triangles, alcoholics and a severe stuttering problem are all featured behind the lush curtain of the production Nothing On. As Nothing On continues its run, these issues (which were only seen behind the curtain) start manifesting into the act, as the actors and their bond quickly falls to pieces.
2.) Long Day's Journey into Night - (Venue Apollo Theatre) Written in 1956 by American playwright Eugene O'Neill, this drama centers around a family dealing with hardships riddled by disease and addiction. This show is considered O'Neill's master piece, and is said to be based around his own family. The drama focues on James Tyrone, a type casted and retired actor, his morphine addicted wife Mary Tyrone, and their two sons Jamie and Edmund. The plot centers around the dyanmic family tensions that arise from failed expectations, unexpected disease and the crippling pain of addiction.
3.) Top Hat - (Venue Aldwych Theatre) Based off of the 1935 musical film, this production entails all of the movie's hilarious antics. The plot follows an American tap dancer Jerry Travers, who travels to London to audition for a show. Upon his arrival in London Jerry meets and quickly falls in love with Dale Tremont, who turns down his advances when she mistakes and thinks he is her good friends husband. Comedy classicaly ensues with this love triangle full of mistaken identity.
4.) The Woman in Black- (Venue Fortune Theatre) You've probably heard of this most recently from the film with the same title starring Daniel Radcliffe, although the original story comes from a horror fiction novel written by Susan Hill in 1983. The book was first taken to the stage in Scarborough in 1987 and has been a part of the stage ever since. The plot revolves around Arthur Kipp, a young fellow summoned to the funeral and estate of a reclusive widow. Upon arrival Arthur finds himself hearing strange noises, experiencing unnexplainable events and seeing frequent sightings of an elderly woman with deep sunken eyes and a black figure, known as the woman in black.
In an effort to beat the hype when the film version with Daniel Ratcliff comes out next year, we visited The Woman in Black on the London West End. Warned that it was the scariest play on the West End, we entered the Fortune Theatre with beating heart… [More]