At the weekend, me and Liam went up to London to see The Woman in Black!
I’d wanted to see it for a long time, and Liam seemed pretty keen (which I was thrilled about, seeing as I’d bought the tickets for him as a present!), so we were both quite excited to see if it was as scary as everyone has said it is.
The Fortune Theatre in Covent Garden is a tiny little theatre, in comparison to my previous experiences, and has a more independent vibe than the bigger venues in London. The Woman in Black has been running at the theatre since 1989 – the year I was born!
The Woman in Black is adapted from Susan Hills novella of the same name, but some might know it better from the film starring Daniel Radcliffe (2012). I knew of the story before, although I hadn’t read the book. Knowing me, I’d probably just researched ghost stories online and came across it. It is understandably seen as a classic ghost story – but I won’t ruin the plot for you if you’ve yet to see the film, play or haven’t yet read the book.
So what did I think? Well, in all honesty I thought it was good but not great. Here’s why.
Without giving too much away, the story is presented in a way that I wasn’t expecting and I personally feel didn’t work quite as well. It starts slow and builds up, and although I did like that it wasn’t jump scare after jump scare, some of it was incredibly slow and the build up for me didn’t really pay off by the time the curtains close (or in the case of at the Fortune Theatre, the screen falls).
There are a couple of scary moments that do make you jump towards the end, but I went into the show expecting real terror and to come out feeling like I had been scared – but I didn’t. Maybe I’m just super brave.
The upsides of the performance were definitely the two actors who carry the show. They were both faultless and you could tell that they relished telling the story from start to end. There were also some good effects (there’s a bit with lots of smoke which was definitely one of the creepier moments), and the Woman herself looked really good. By really good I mean suitably gaunt and spooky!
While I wasn’t blown away by The Woman in Black, I am definitely glad I had the opportunity to see it. I would still recommend others go to see it, as it is a great classic ghost story (and definitely better than the dreadful film), but maybe don’t expect to be sleeping with one eye open afterwards.