The Woman In Black - Aylesbury Waterside Theatre - ATG Tickets (
It’s very rare for a play to last for 27 years in the West
End and yet Woman in Black has been
running at the Fortune Theatre all these years. 
Based on Susan Hill’s acclaimed ghost story the book was adapted for the
stage by Stephen Mallatratt. It’s now in its 9th year playing at the
Rafael Solaria theatre in Mexico and has been translated into 12 languages and been
performed in 41 countries.

Woman in Black is
effectively a play within a play, with the central two actors showing how
tension and suspense can be created with the most basic of sets and props.  The actors use storytelling techniques to
allow the audience to use their imagination to build the atmosphere,
constructing an illusion of tension as the horror of the storyline builds.

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 tell his terrifying
story and exorcise the fear that grips his soul.  It all begins innocently enough, but then, as
they reach further into his darkest memories, they find themselves caught up in
a world of eerie marshes and moaning winds.

In addition to running in the West End, the play has been
touring the UK since 1989.  It is on the
GCSE and A-level theatre and English syllabuses ensuring that audiences are
predominately made up of schoolchildren, who hold on to one another as the
anticipation of ghostly presences puts them on the edge of their seats.

With only two speaking roles in the play, the actors have to
have incredible stamina, energy and resilience to get through 8 shows a week
for the 40 weeks they’re hired to play the roles.  In addition to remembering all the lines and
playing a variety of roles, they both go on an emotional journey that must
exhaust them both by the end of the show.

The current two actors playing the roles on the theatre tour
are Robert Goodale and Daniel Easton, who both give 100% commitment to the
characters they play and the story they’re relaying. It’s exceptionally
difficult to have to constantly adjust to a new theatre week after week and the
vast auditorium of the Waterside Theatre can make it hard for the two actors to
engage the audience. They both worked extra hard though to overcome the challenge
and judging by the screams and jumps around the theatre they succeeded in
scaring people at the relevant moments. I felt the play probably works better
in a small intimate theatre, but it’s good that this production can be adapted

The play runs at The Waterside Theatre to Saturday 30th

Further details can be found on

Reviewed by:

Yvonne Delahaye