The Woman In Black (Fortune Theatre)

Posted on April 10, 2012

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The Woman In Black‘ is one of those long running shows that you never bother to go and see because you always assume you’ll get around to it, and it’ll always be running. It was only the release of the film version of the story that motivated my friend K to suggest we go. We’re stickler’s like that, much rather see the stage version, then complain about the film… Theatre snobs essentially.

It’s cheap entertainment to be honest, but it does it very well.

So after a few attempts to synch up our diaries we found a night and off we went – both feel ill with the flu. Well, we thought either we’ll fall asleep, or the play will be good enough to keep up going.

Those of you, yes, the tens of thousands of you, who have already seen the play know, it’s not the sort of show you can sleep through.

The beauty of ‘The Woman In Black’ is it’s simplicity. A tale within a tale, told with 3 actors (only two speaking roles). The staging is genuinely frightening. Yes, there are a truck load of cheap tricks, but by god do they work. I screamed out loud several times.

Ben Deery is a thoroughly engaging performer, charismatic and dynamic enough to carry the show more or less on his shoulders. Flipping from action to narration, from terror to conversation. It’s his ability as an actor and a storyteller that carry the audience into the tale.

This isn’t a challenging piece of theatre, it’s cheap entertainment to be honest, but it does it very well.

I left happy that some long running shows deserve their status and are genuinely fun & entertaining experiences – and also glad that I’m not having children.

Verdict: I screamed, I jumped, I laughed and I cheered – isn’t that what all night time pleasures should be about?

 

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