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Theatre Review: The Woman In Black (UK Tour)

The Woman In Black theatre review: A chance encounter changes one man’s life, will it leave you with a chill down your spine?

The Woman In Black theatre review by Katey Thompson, April 2017.

Stephen Mallatratt‘s play The Woman In Black is an adaptation of the novel of Susan Hill of the same name. It is a tense thriller with a subtle chill running through it. The director Robin Hereford has put together a play that manages to strike the right balance of thrill and suspense, but perhaps does not reach its full ethereal potential.

This play features a highly professional performance by both actors, who both filled the stage, and the auditorium by their presence. Well done David Acton and Matthew Spencer. The dark tension was maintained throughout the performance until the very end.  The transition from one character to another by Acton was very skillful and believable; this was achieved by a change in posture or by the addition of a coat and hat.

However the staging was slightly disappointing and the props; two odd chairs and a wicker basket, did not really portray the changing environments enough. The use of the sound effects was clever but inappropriately loud on many occasions and unfortunately their impact was lessened by a written warning of noise in the programme.  The lighting was highly effective and perhaps could have been used to further enhance the stage during the train scene which lacked impact.

This production is impressive but it does however at times the suspense was not as high as expected and created a few nervous laughs. That said, it is a show to be recommended if you want an evening of suspense and thrill.

The Woman In Black is running at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking until 22nd April, 2017.


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