/The Woman in Black (2017)

The Woman in Black (2017)

Halloween is only around the corner. If you’re looking for a show to get you in the spooky mood, then head straight to the Fortune Theatre for The Woman in Black. It has been showing at the West End for years and is on show until March 2018, but why wait until it’s over? Susan Hill’s story has been transformed on the stage by director Robin Herford where only two actors are needed; they manage to relay this nightmarish dream in multiple guises.

When you’re in the auditorium, you get the shivers. Yet, even, if you haven’t seen the show (or seen the movie or read the book), you won’t know when you’ll be spooked, and that’s the best part of the show! It’s the anticipation of the big scare. You’ll tell yourself, ‘it’s coming… anytime now, I know it!’

THE WOMAN IN BLACK. James Byng 'The Actor' Photo by Mark Douet
THE WOMAN IN BLACK. James Byng ‘The Actor’ Photo by Mark Douet

Actors Terence Wilton and James Byng take on multiple characters and they do it so well. The pace of the show isn’t slow either, which makes it more interesting for Wilton and Byng to be on the ball and ensure they’re on time for the beat. A lot happens in the space of a couple of hours, including those significant silences and moments in the dark when you know (full well!) that the actor isn’t the only subject on stage – something else lurks in the mystery.

On a special preview night I attended, bloggers were given entrance to the backstages of the Fortune Theatre. A paranormal specialist explained the history behind the theatre in the last 93 years, which was originally a wild London pub. We were informed that roughly 10.5 million people had been at the theatre since it opened, therefore, a lot of spooky and paranormal activity is completely possible.

1THE WOMAN IN BLACK. Terence Wilton 'Arthur Kipps'. Photo by Mark Douet
1THE WOMAN IN BLACK. Terence Wilton ‘Arthur Kipps’. Photo by Mark Douet

Naturally, the theatre has its creepy aspects; the old architecture and unwelcomed downstair noises – we couldn’t shake off the facts. Over a hundred years ago, the Church of Scotland and its own graveyard were situated on the other side of the theatre. A fire burned down the church and people died struggling to get out of the basement. Today, theatre workers claim they hear banging and loud noises coming from the same basement. Could it be those dying souls that got stuck? Who knows.

Let all of these interesting anecdotes and historical facts act as a bonus to your time at the Fortune Theatre. Whilst you sit in the dark and see what becomes of the woman in black, be mindful that you may be sitting next to someone who isn’t there, or are they?

For more information and to buy tickets for the Halloween season, click here. The Woman in Black is showing now until March 2018.