The Woman in Black Review
Upon the arrival in London my anticipation was high. My first
impression of the Fortune Theatre was; it was a very old Victorian
building, very small and slightly ragged. Upon entering it felt very
cramped and made you feel claustrophobic. The atmosphere was eerie due
to the old style of the building. This was particularly effective as
the play was set in the Victorian period. This made you feel as if you
were in the past. Also the narrow staircase and small seating area
created effect. Before the play starts there is no background music
played to set a scene or image in the audiences mind. The play starts
without warning and lights go down and we are straight into the story.
The play is set in a theatre and the audience see the actors
rehearsing a manuscript to an empty crowd. At first the older actor
was reading his story as if he was an appalling actor. This technique
used was effective and gave some comic relief at the start of the
play. He mumbled his words without emotion which was in total contrast
to the younger actor. The younger actor was very articulate and
pronounced his words properly, both characters spoke with posh
accents. By doing this it lulled the audience in to an almost false
sense of security. Fans blew into the theatre to make the ambience
cold and chilling.
Diagram of the Stage
The audience were seated in front of the stage. This was so the whole
audience would all see the play in the same way. Also this would
ensure the woman in black wouldn’t be able to be spotted. The set was
open and most things on the stage were shown. There was a clothes rack
which was covered, a wicker basket which was closed and some metal
buckets. There was a door which was shut but we did not know to where
it would lead. However during the play we discovered a whole new
dimension to the stage. Behind a gauze there was another part of the
stage. If this had been shown some of the creative element would have
been lost as we wouldn’t be surprised to see it. Also the fact the
only time the audience saw the back of the stage was when the actors
themselves were present there. This would link the audience to the
actor and heighten the personal bond.
Spotlights were used a lot in this production. It persuaded the
audience to focus on one area of the stage. It also gave a creepy
effect, as you could not see the whole of the stage, therefore you
would not know what was happening in the black spots.
Images were also shone on to a translucent curtain showing at the
position of the actors. This included a crucifix. This was effective
as it was a very overpowering image, which embraces the audience as it
is the first scary moment of the play. The other image was of the
house in which the Woman in Black haunts. It gives you a mental
representation of what the building would look like. Upon seeing this
building, it was obvious a catastrophe was immanent.
The lighting also...