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Review: Be prepared for a jumpy evening at The Woman in Black
I WAS so scared when I watched the film, Woman in Black, featuring Daniel Radcliffe that at one point I thought I couldn't watch it anymore. So going to see the stage version at the Wycombe Swan last night made me feel jumpy before I even sat down.
But although I felt quite tense throughout it was no where near as scary as the film, which is understandable considering the limitations placed on the stage compared to the might of a film set.
I think perhaps I saw the two the wrong way around and I did that annoying thing where I compared the story and the way it was presented with the film.
That is not to say that this isn't a brilliant production. It is. The two actors- Julian Forsyth who plays Arthur Kipps and Antony Eden who plays the actor- were amazing.
They are on stage throughout, with Julian Forsyth playing a number of different characters, and not once did they slip up.
They kept the intensity in their performance throughout and when the audience were asked to use their own imagination it worked well, for example pretending there was a dog on stage.
The story follows Arthur Kipps, who wants to re-tell a story from long ago, where as a young solicitor he is sent to the funeral of Mrs Alice Drablow who lived in Eel Marsh house, which sits upon the salt marshes.
He finds the occupants of the village do not want to even mention her name and shy away from helping him. When Arthur sees a wasted young woman dressed in black at the funeral a creeping sense of unease begins.
It's quite interesting the way it is staged as it starts with Arthur Kipps going to find help from an actor to retell his story, so it is a play within a play.
At first I didn't like this as I wanted to get straight into the story but once it picked up momentum I understood why it was staged this way.
What is surprising is how funny it is. The two actors easily alternated between humorous and terrifying scenes.
There was one moment when the whole audience seemed to jump out of their skins, and it took a few moments for every one to recover.
This is a great production and the actors were both fantastic. Just be prepared to use your own imagination.
The Woman in Black is at the Wycombe Swan until November 3. It is on Tue, Thu and Fri at 7.30pm and on Wednesday 6pm and a special Halloween screening at 10pm. On Saturday it is on at 4pm and 7.30pm. Tickets range from £18.50 to £30.50. To book go to www.wycombeswan.co.uk or call 01494 512000
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