The Woman in Black has earned a spine-chilling reputation over the years. Audiences across the world have witnessed this eerie spectacle on stage and now it arrives at Wolverhampton Grand for a strictly limited run.
This two-hander is ably performed by the dynamic pairing of David Acton as Arthur Kipps and Matthew Spencer as The Actor, and 27 years on the story of the Woman in Black is still just as chilling.
The main fault lies in the darkness of the theatre. It didn't feel eerie enough when the audience were plunged into darkness, with bright exit signs shining out into the auditorium. The thought of not being able to see the hand in front of your face or the person next to you was the sort of experience I craved. That aside, this did not detract from the impeccable acting from Acton and Spencer. They delivered enthralling performances, holding the audience in the palm of their hands as they shared this creepy tale.
Michael Holt's set design is a masterstroke. Conjuring up the unsettling Eel Marsh House, with particularly striking moments in the nursery scene. On the whole though, the beauty lies in the simplicity of the set and props. This is storytelling at its finest. A wonderful sequence featuring 'Spider the dog' is cleverly imagined and the use of sound (Rod Mead) heightens the tense atmosphere, as ear-piercing screams ring out through the theatre. Lighting (Kevin Sleep) further assisted with the transition of scenes and was again simple, yet effective.
It didn't deliver scares on the level expected, but it certainly unnerves you. And the very end leaves you with a tingle down your spine.
Love Midlands Theatre
Sharing the latest theatre news and reviews around the Midlands.