The Woman in Black at MK Theatre

The Woman in Black at Milton Keynes Theatre until 28th march

Everybody in the theatre can hear you scream!

A lawyer obsessed with a curse that he believes has been cast over him and his family by the spectre of a ‘Woman in Black’, engages a sceptical young actor to help him tell his terrifying story and exorcise the fear that grips his soul. It all begins innocently enough, but as they reach further into his darkest memories the borders between make believe and reality begin to blur and the flesh begins to creep…

Now celebrating its 25th year in the Fortune Theatre in the West End, it has been translated into at least 12 languages and performed in at least 41 countries which means that over 7 million people have lived to tell the tale of one of the most chilling  and successful theatre events ever staged.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? The Woman in Black at Milton Keynes Theatre, 23rd – 28th March

Box Office: 0844 870 0887 or online: www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes

 

These were my thoughts after the show on Monday:

There are always a few hitches on an opening night (the house lights left on for half of the 2nd half when we needed it to be dark and creepy) but my heart went out to the two fine actors Malcolm James (Arthur Kipps) and Matt Connor (The Actor) on Monday because every person in Herts, Beds and Bucks with bronchial problems seemed to be in the house performing a sort of Mexican Wave of coughing and spluttering during the quieter passages.

As if that weren’t enough, a party of who I assumed to be young teenage girls with no more knowledge of a serious piece of storytelling than “Mama Mia”  had obviously been told that this was a scary story – so they screamed at every opportunity, even when there was nothing to scream about!

The Woman in Black (cleverly adapted from Susan Hill’s novel by Stephen Mallatratt) is of necessity a wordy piece, beautifully performed by Malcolm James and Matt Connor although in these days of fantastic and technically brilliant special effects I found it all a little dated. The story though, is very strong and for the two actors to carry us through the two hours – amid the coughing, sneezing, screaming, and even nervous laughter during the more creepy bits without losing us, was a mammoth task and well worthy of the applause at the end of the evening.

Not that this production company would ever need my advice, but if they were to ask, I’d say keep the two actors, scrap the set, the lighting plot and the special effects and re-think them. It really needs the appearance of the title character to have more of an impact than the classic pantomime ghost sequence!

By the way, I do hope the lady that sat next to me and sniffed and sneezed her way through the entire performance has now got over her bout of double pneumonia!

The Woman in Black at Milton Keynes Theatre, 23rd – 28th March

Box Office: 0844 870 0887 or online: www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes

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