The Woman in Black Reviews - Fortune Theatre

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Venue Information
Fortune Theatre

Fortune Theatre
Russell Street

Seating Plan


(5mins) Go right on Long Acre; turn right into Bow Street and after 100 metres go left on Russell Street, from where the theatre logo can be seen.

Show Information
Booking From: Tuesday, 26th September 2017
Booking Until: Saturday, 3rd March 2018
Running Time: 1 hour 45 minutes (no interval)
Age Restriction: The Woman in Black is on the National Curriculum for English and Drama, so some performances (especially matinees and on weekdays) are likely to have school groups in attendance.
Important Info: This play is not suitable for those with a nervous disposition or who cannot handle sudden shocks. Please be advised that there is a large possibility of school groups being present at The Woman In Black, especially for Monday to Thursday performances.
Show Schedule
Tue: 3pm and 8pm
Wed: 8pm
Thu: 3pm and 8pm
Fri: 8pm
Sat: 4pm and 8pm
Review Summary
Average Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars based on 54 review(s)


Latest Review: "I enjoyed the women in black and my friends and I got plenty of jump scares, the only thing was t..."

Reviews Sort by
    Monday, 18th May 2015 by mick randall

very,very clever, brilliant acting, and I can say with honesty she scared me s**tless

    Saturday, 11th Apr 2015 by Miguel

The film is much better than this. I have no idea what people are talking about when they say it was "scary" or "chilling"? Have they ever seen a horror movie before in their lives?... Most of the play is just the two actors talking and talking and talking to each other, the stage set is very outdated and static and while the actors are good their performances were nothing to write home about either.

    Wednesday, 18th Feb 2015 by Helen

An amazing performance accompanied by fantastic customer service. Due to the fact that there was a large school group in the dress circle where we had tickets, we were offered the opportunity to move into the stalls as they had spare capacity. An excellent decision by the management as it meant our enjoyment of the performance was greatly increased.

    Tuesday, 30th Dec 2014 by Jacqui

Very disappointing. I have never seen the film, though my teenagers who accompanied me have, so I was not comparing it. Decent acting but dull otherwise. So much more could have been done to create atmosphere, suspense and emotion. My 17 year old says her school should perform it because they would do a better job. I expected more from a West End production, not worth the £42 we paid for a ticket. Money for old rope.

    Friday, 25th Jul 2014 by Peter

Not such a review of the play, which we enjoyed although we found the graveyard scene as from the circle roe E 4+5 you cannot see the grave BUT I want to give a huge thank you to the staff. I am disabled and use a stick. The staff did everything that they could to make me comfortable with small acts of kindness such as allowing me use of the toilet on the same level instead of having to make a trip up about 3 flights of stairs (I hope she doesn't get in trouble for that), to carrying my beer up from the bar to my seat. A big thank you. Things like this are not usually found in this day and age but nothing was too much trouble from the box office to leaving. The staff know who they are and I hope whoever reads this at the Fortune will pass on my gratitude.

    Monday, 12th May 2014 by s.p

Booked last minute on a whim for my daughter and I.

Then read reviews and realised it was a 2 hander so did not know what to expect and how they were gonna pull it off, only having seen the big blockbuster film version

Well.............. BRILLIANT !!!!!!!!!!

What more can I say without spoiling it.

Go with an open mind , enjoy the quaint Theatre, friendly staff

and applaude the great Acting.

    Wednesday, 23rd Apr 2014 by Lisa

My hubby & I went yesterday for our anniversary. I was a bit unsure as another website had given unfavorable reviews. I was gripped from the start and even forgot to breath on a couple of occasions. The 2 actors were amazing & delivered a slick, outstanding performance. I actually felt I was on the stage with them. Truly fine acting and I will definitely be going back. The negative reviews I read must have been written by watchers of roller skating cats or sing wicked witches. If you want that, then this won't be for you but if you want fine intelligent culture you be so pleased you went. I jumped out my seat- !!!

    Monday, 17th Mar 2014 by melanie

i thought this play was an amazing show, not only did it entertain me but i was also surprised as to how scary they made the play. i did think that the play wouldn't be as scary as i didn't quite understand how they would be able to make a ghost story scary in reality. Truth is the sound effects and the other effects they used were very effective and helpful. i would highly recommend this and for anyone who says this show was boring needs to start appreciating simple shows that are effective.

    Monday, 6th Jan 2014 by Kate

I did not enjoy it at all. The cheap set I thought was awful.

I did not like the fact that there were only two characters on stage and to me it was just boring. The screams were hideous.

    Tuesday, 17th Dec 2013 by Reweiwer

I thought the atmosphere the actors created by the element of climax was particularly effective. They did this by using dramatic mediums. The music created tension and suspense that put you on the edge of your seat. It did this by repetition. The repetition of a sound or song like a broken record player creates an eary atmosphere. This adds to the suspense because the build-up and then the repetition makes you anticipate the appearance of the Woman in Black. An example of this in the production was when the actor was approaching the child’s bedroom and the music suddenly became sharp and rapid. This sudden change in tempo made you very frightened because of the build-up beforehand.

The medium of lighting further added to the atmosphere of suspense. The medium of lighting is significantly effective because I thought it drew you into the play. This feeling of emersion builds up the suspense because you are only focusing on the stage. The door that leads to behind the gauze curtain is important in creating suspense. It does this because the mind does not feel secure when looking at a closed door. You always wonder what is behind the door and lighting is used to emphasise these feelings. A red light shone from the bottom of the door to where the actor was standing. As this light appears you also hear the sound of a heartbeat. This repetitive noise absorbs you into the performance because it creates climax.

The music creates an auxiliary feeling of climax because of build-up. The rate of the music slowly increases until its apex and finally drops. For the audience this recreates the sensation on being on a rollercoaster. This arduous and frightening climax makes the concluding scare more fearsome. Darkness is a powerful ally of terror, something glimpsed in the corner is far more frightening that if it’s in full view.

I thought the use of props and set was effective. The slightly bare set and low budget props add to the eeriness because you actually think you are peering into an old Edwardian theatre. The use of this end-on set truly creates a sensation of emersion. The rickety chairs and beams of the theatre also adds to this feeling because it is furniture you can imagine being from the past. The minimalist set adds to fear because the fear created is not on a visual or visceral level but on an imaginative one. Climax and anti-climax are created through this type of fear. An example of this that I thought was effective was when the actor was walking slowly to the rocking chair that was moving and then it stopped as he approached. Fear was created here because you anticipate something is going to happen and it does not, this leaves you in a constant fear for what is about to come. You do not need fancy special effects to create fear, all you need is an actor and a stage and from this anything can be created. The fact that the woman only appears for short moments until the end left the audience desiring a satisfying look at her. It was only until the final moment of the play that she appeared in terrifying despair.

The medium of sound is another aspect of the production which was effective. I thought that the only aspect of the play that was in anyway complex was the sound. There are one or two moments when the actor is walking through the house, when just by raising the volume to an unexpected level the audience were shocked to a screaming pitch. Sound is effective in creating climax because of the audience’s psychoacoustic perception.

The use of movement, mime and or gesture was effective in The Woman in Black. The hesitant steps that The Actor took when he was walking towards the door were effective in building suspense. The slowness of his steps keep you engaged and aware because you are waiting in anticipation for what is about to come. One moment that personally stuck in my mind about the production was when Mr Kipps suddenly appeared on stage to narrate the next bit of the story. He appeared in a dim light and his movement was perfectly in time with the sound. I felt that this was very effective because it showed synchronisation which if used in the right way can be extremely sinister.

Something that was also effective with the production was the way that it brought you to a different location. This was done in a variety of mediums and elements. Lighting was used to change the location consistently through the play. There were no complex set changes but only a projection onto the gauze curtain. A simple cross was projected and this made you feel that you were in a church. This was incredibly simple but gave the audience the basis in which to adapt to their imagination. To bring us to Eelmarsh house, an image of a grand manor was projected this worked in the same way as the projection of the cross. The graveyard was behind the gauze curtain and it consisted of draped sheets over objects. The gauze curtain gave a hazy look to the graveyard which added to the feeling of being in an eerie and misty marsh. This was effective in creating suspense because you have to peer into the graveyard which takes away your focus on other parts of the stage, which the entrance of the woman more alarming.

Most of the props were used multiple times of different things. One example of this was the wicker basket. It was originally used as Tomes the clerk’s desk, then the train seats, next it was used as the pony and trap, finally its use was as the storage for all of Mrs Drablow’s papers. The wicker basket being used for many roles was effective because it shows creativity. The wicker basket is the core of the play because so many key moments evolve around it and it is always at the forefront of the action. The old fashioned props anchorisims

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