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The Woman in Black UK Tour - Review

A haunting tale that continues to scare





A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of seeing the UK Tour of The Woman in Black at The RIchmond Theatre. Having seen the West End version 3 times previously I had presumed that all shock and fright that I would feel from this production would be long gone... how wrong I was. I will not divulge any of the story and will keep my review short and sweet so as not to give away any spoilers.

The Woman in Black is currently the 4th longest running show in West End history, having rackked up a staggering 13,232 performances at the Fortune Theatre before it closed earlier this year and is now embarking on a UK tour until June 2024.

The Woman in Black has two lead actors, the wonderful chameleon Malcolm James who plays Mr Kipps and the charming and intriguing Mark Hawkins who plays The Actor. Both were incredibly strong, they toyed and played with the audience to heighten the comedic moments and intensify the fright. The book which inspired the show, written by Dame Susan Hill, is on the English GCSE syllabus and I had unknowingly turned up to a performance of mostly school children. It was truly wonderful to see both actors tailor the show and respond to the screaming and occasional laughing throughout.

In the West End production, the small size of the Fortune made the performances feel intimate. It heightened the tension and increased the fright factor, something that the touring production is clearly all too aware of. While some of the classic fright elements were still present, new and improved versions were added which drew audience members in from seats further back. The staging is simple yet ingenious. I will always love how a door, sparse furniture, a few lights and some thin veil curtains, as well as a sprinkle of imagination, can create such visceral reactions from the audience, 30 years on.

As promised, this review is short and won't go into much detail as I do not want to spoil it for future audiences. If you haven't seen The Woman in Black, I urge you to see it. If you decide not to, then good luck, you never know if that dark shadow in the night, is Alice Drablow herself come from Eel Marsh House to make you buy a ticket.

Tickets are available at https://thewomaninblack.com/ with the following dates left in the tour, if you're not keen on any kids at the performance go on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday;

  • Notting Theatre Royal 27th November - 2nd December

  • Liverpool Playhouse 5th - 30th December

  • Wyvern Theatre, Swindon 9th-13th January

  • Theatre Royal, Norwich 15-20th January

  • Hall for Cornwall 22nd-27th January

  • Grand Opera House, York 30th January - 3rd February

  • The Alexandra, Birmingham 6th - 10th February

  • Bradfor Alhambra 20th - 24th February

  • Brighton Theatre Royal 27th February - 2nd March

  • Ipswich Regent 4th - 9th March

  • Bath Theatre Royal 11th -16th March

  • Theatre Royal, Glasgow 26th - 30th March

  • Milton Keynes Theatre 2nd - 6th April

  • The Orchard Theatre, Dartford 9th - 13th April

  • Wycombe Swan 16 - 20th April

  • Lyceum Theatre, Crewe 23rd- 27th April

  • Coventry Belgrade 30th April - 4th May

  • Grand Opera House, Belfast 13th - 18th May

  • Millennium Forum, Derry 21st - 25th May

  • Gaiety Theatre, Dublin 28th May - 1st June



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