The Woman in Black by Susan Hill.

The C19th style gothic horror book was first published in October 1983.

The play tells the story of young Arthur Kipps as he embarked on an accountancy job dealing with Mrs Alice Dradlows estate after her death. Where he first encounters the sinister ghost of Jennet.

The two tragic tales run side by side as the older Arthur Kipps recounts the events before, during and after the encounter with Jenner, to the young actor. While also explaining why Jenner is enraged and violently haunting Eel Marsh House.

Richard Hope and Mark Hawkins perform all the roles from the two main protagonists to all the minor parts like the Inn Keeper in this gripping gothic tale.

The loud sound effects scare the audience on numerous occasions. Their nervous laughter and screams add to the heightened atmosphere as this sinister plot unfolds.

The stage props are minimal. However, the descriptive dialogue delivered by both actors meant I was there with them from on the causeway, or out on the marshland watching Spider the dog drowning in the quicksand or travelling by train with the younger Kipps to the bleak landscape where Eel Marsh House is located.

Prepare to be entertained, frightened and shocked as you journey through the gripping play that is The Woman in Black.

The book was adapted to play by Stephen Mallatratt and was first performed in Scarborough in 1987 and then transferred to the West End in 1989, where it continues to scare and entertain audiences almost 30 years later.

I would highly recommend this play, giving it a well deserved 5 stars.

The play runs at:

Fortune Theatre,

Russell Street,

Covent Garden,

London,

WC2B 5HH.

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