A truly different theatre experience was all set for the audience on opening night. The patrons awaited the start of the show, full of nervous anticipation for an exhilarating treat as The Woman In Black comes with quite the frightful reputation.
Those who dared to attend were not only thoroughly rewarded with the thrilling horror story they were looking for, but they also witnessed a masterclass in theatre-craft.
2 actors and a first class stage team masterfully deliver the novel by Susan Hill, adapted by Stephen Mallatratt – and 30 years on from it’s first performance at Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough – this show is as strong as ever.
Instantly transported to around 100 years ago, we meet Arthur Kipps first, played by Robert Goodale, keen to tell his story of the horrors he had endured on a trip that he’d never forget and quickly meet The Actor, played by Daniel Easton, who is going to help him tell it. The Woman In Black has been haunting Arthur for a long time.
Robert Goodale is excellent throughout the show, managing to draw the audience in to his own character but also quickly adapting to every other character in the show, with a slight change of outfit and demeanor, he becomes somebody else and there is barely a trace of his previous character. He is a delight to watch.
The whole show revolves around Daniel Easton though, playing “The Actor” he becomes Arthur Kipps whilst Kipps plays everyone else. It is a feature that adds to much depth to the production – a show within a show.
You will have to concentrate, but that isn’t too difficult as whilst this haunting tale is told you can hear a pin drop in the auditorium.
The production wouldn’t work without the superb technical work of the stage and tech team, their impeccable timing is imperative and they expertly deliver.
Director Robin Herford not only knows this show but knows what it takes to frighten his audience. On a well designed set the actors take you on a journey through your imagination and proceed to scare the wits out of you.
If you dare, booking your tickets is highly recommended. Be prepared for some jumpy moments!
Woman in Black plays the Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent until Saturday 9th November, to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/stoke