The Woman in Black Reviews - Fortune Theatre

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Venue Information
Fortune Theatre

Fortune Theatre
Russell Street
London
London
WC2B 5HH

Seating Plan

Directions

Directions
(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: Wednesday, 27th 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: 4 out of 5 stars based on 55 review(s)

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Latest Review: "Saw this production with a friend on 21.9.17......... Absolutely fabulous ! Anyone who critiques ..."

Reviews Sort by
    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

    Friday, 15th Nov 2013 by Mrs leutchford

We watched this play yesterday it was for my mums 65th birthday she enjoyed we did enjoy it it made me jump very intense.

    Saturday, 2nd Nov 2013 by Chris

Very boring. If you can get through the first act the noise of the second will keep you awake. I have never wanted to walk out of a play so much, but was stuck in by the wall so had to sleep instead

    Thursday, 3rd Oct 2013 by Maturity

AMAZING, MUST SEE, Incredible, fantastic, beautiful, stunning.. etc

    Tuesday, 1st Oct 2013 by jacqueline

I was given tickets to this play several years ago, by a friend who strongly recommended it. I went along with another friend, both quite blasé, thinking "how can a ghost story be scary on stage?" By half way through we were hanging on to each other saying "can you see her" each thinking it was imagination or real but not part of the play. For a two-hander with only a very few props it is tremendous acting and production. Can't recommend it highly enough.

    Thursday, 18th Jul 2013 by Matthew

Spooky evening indeed. Not for the fainted hearted.

    Saturday, 13th Jul 2013 by Bored

I won't sleep tonight and it's not because I scared but because I was robbed of £35x 3 taking my husband and mother to this torturous play. We had to try very very hard not to slit our wrists through the play. It was that bad.

Not scary at all it was a school play that parents would tolerate because their child had a part in it bu to pay for this is just crazy. Worth £8 a ticket tops.

Literally after five mins I knew it was a huge mistake and I should've listened to the bad (read honest) reviews but l had also many friends recommend this to me also who I shall never speak to again. Like a previous reviewer says, they need to get out more as they're the types who love laughing stupidly loud at the cinema at not funny lines.

I can't being myself to detail why the play is so crap but basically no props, Boring story line that just would drag on and on at any chance and the price all brings one to have a miserable night of feeling robbed of money and life.

There are some great shows out there although performances on the west end I have found to be shocking compared to broadway and other country productions.

You have been warned. Don't make te same mistake I did and still go.

    Wednesday, 8th May 2013 by CHRISTINE BELL

Wonderful evening spent watching this amazing preformance. Described to me as a ghost story, I went along with very little trepidation and low expectation, I never thought it would be possible to create a convincingly scarey stage show. I was so wrong. Fear, suspence and intrigue were wonderfully created by just 3 actors who used their skill, their creativity and perfect timing to delve in to the depths of the minds of the audience allowing them to experince an amazing perfomance which exercised their imaginations to the full. I was totally absorbed from the begining, like reading a good book and it being brought to life before you.

A wonderful preformance by all the cast. It was in my view, theatre in its purest form. Thanks to Crawford,Tim and the Woman in Black .

    Sunday, 5th May 2013 by thomas f

It's an awful thing when your expectations are raised high, to see them spat on by a production like this. And realising this within the first five minutes just makes it harder to endure the next ninety...un-engaging, lazy and puerile. I wish I could say something nice but I can't.

    Wednesday, 24th Apr 2013 by Steve W

Dreadful beyond belief. Not scary (I expected that), not convincing and utterly tedious. Poorly acted (I'm sorry, I know how hard they work) and probably the worst play I've ever seen outside a school hall.

But a REAL word of warning here: if you want to go, when you book you should ask whether there are schoolchildren in the audience because this is a HOT TOPIC on the syllabus at the moment, and compulsory viewing for the poor little blighters (is this how their interest in acting is being encouraged ?) The problem was, the theatre was 90% full of 15-16 year old kids, talking, muttering, shifting in their squeaky seats, and of course the boys flicking pellets at the girls. The teachers did well to keep the level of control that they did, but the atmosphere was a buzz of low-key hormonal boredom, fidgeting and rustling of note pads. They ruined our experience, but I felt sorry for them, too. All I'd say to them is, study this for your exams, but before you write off drama/theatre as boring, there's a whole lot of really good stuff out there. It's a shame that this wasn't it.

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