The Woman In Black | Stage Play | Review

March 13, 2015

I walked through the entrance of Portsmouth's Kings Theatre with an adrenaline and thirst for the entertainment that was set to fulfil me that evening. There were steep steps just as you entered, and a lady stood waving programs above her head. I fumbled for my purse and treated myself to a program which only cost me £4. Our seats were in the dress circle. As we walked further into the theatre I was taken aback by its beauty.

Our seats were velvet red and we were lucky enough to get seats right in the centre and on the front row of the dress circle. It was the perfect view. Now inside I was astonished at how wonderful it all looked. The curtains were already drawn back and on the stage were a few wooden chairs and a woven basket. The simplicity had me captivated before it had even begun. The rustling of sweet wrappers and the gentle mumbling of the busy audience gave me a nostalgic feeling from visiting the theatre as a child. I couldn't wait for it to start.

At 7:30pm sharp the lights went down. It began.

The Woman in Black, Susan Hill,  was everything you could look for in a good dramatic play. It had humour, shocks, surprises, and drama. And it definitely wasn't short of giving the audience a good scare when a sudden ghostly scream filled the auditorium.

The acting was sensational, Malcolm James and Matt Connor gave outstanding, believable performances of Arthur Kipps and The Actor. Having only seen the film of The Woman In Black, it was fantastic to witness the play and compare their differences. The talent that was displayed by these two actors was blatant when both kept swapping roles and taking on new ones. Not once did the play become confusing or less realistic. I was completely unaware that James and Connor would be the only two actors in the play- besides the mysterious Woman in Black herself! And despite having no other actors to work off, the pair did an excellent job and had me memorized in the wonder that was the theatre that night.

The atmosphere was greatly created by sound, much like a horror film. To portray scene changes, a simple background noise would fill the stage and the lighting represented the mood. This was pulled of easily, and had the whole audience engaged.

My experience was one of the best. I thoroughly enjoyed watching The Woman in Black and would recommend it to all who aren't too scared. An outstanding play, outstanding performances, and an outstanding night!

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