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Threatre Review Of Woman In Black

1305 words - 5 pages

Threatre Review of Woman in Black

The play I will be reviewing is called the Woman in Black, adapted by
Stephen Mallatratt from the novel by Susan Hill. I viewed it on
September the 17th at the Fortune Theatre in London.

The Woman in Black is a Gothic ghost/horror story set around the
Victorian period in which Eel Marsh House surveys the windswept
reaches of the salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway. Arthur Kipps
(Brian Miller), a junior solicitor, is summoned to attend the funeral
of Mrs Alice Drablow, the house's sole inhabitant, unaware of the
tragic secrets that lie hidden behind the shuttered windows. It is not
until he glimpses a wasted young woman, dressed all in black, at the
funeral, that a creeping sense of unease begins to take hold, a
feeling deepened by the reluctance of the locals to talk of the woman
in black - and her terrible purpose. Years later, as an old man, he
recounts his experiences to an actor (William Rycroft) in a desperate
attempt to exorcise the ghosts of the past. The play unfolds around
the conversations of these two characters as they act out the
solicitor's experiences on Eel Marsh all those years ago. Stephen
Mallatratt's adaptation for the stage remains entirely true to the
book itself and uses much of Susan Hill's own descriptive writing and
dialogue, while transforming the novel into a totally gripping piece
of theatre. The play was preformed in a proscenium arch style staging,
and they cleverly use a small amount of props to display several
different locations, a transparent cloth hung down from the ceiling
separating the back half of the stage, this was used to show the
eeriness of the graveyard and child's bedroom scene, it was used to
great effect, adding a look of mist or haze when preformed on, this
was particularly good when the shadow of the woman in black can be
seen, and when a ghostly feeling is needed .

Scene changes are made easier since all of the main staging stays in
its position for the whole play. This is common in a lot of plays
since it saves time and makes sure the audience doesn't lose
concentration, one example of a play that does this is "Chicago".
Although when I went to see blood brothers, there was a large amount
of props on stage and not many open spaces, but this was needed to
effectively show the audience where the scenes were taking place. The
woman in black used a very effective set design that made good use of
the open-end staging that the play was preformed on. Other than the
heavier props that stayed on all through the play, only small hand
held props were used.

The use of sound was very impressive, sudden loud noises worked
brilliantly at creating even more tension and frightening the
audience. One of the props used well was a large wicker basket; it was
used to store financial documents in the...

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