The Victorian thriller The Woman In White, based on the novel by Wilkie Collins and first published in 1860, is adapted for the stage by Nicola Boyce.
This classic Victorian tale of intrigue and suspense, directed by Ian Dickens, begins when Walter Hartright encounters the woman in white on a London street. Pleading for his help to prevent her from being sent to an asylum, the woman quickly vanishes into the night, leading to a dark tale of romance, drama and mystery.
This three hour play (with two intervals) focuses more on the characters’ dialogue than action and is helped by an experienced cast. Peter Amory is a believably evil Sir Percival Glyde and Nicola Weeks gives a fine performance as headstrong Marian Holcombe. However, Colin Baker does light up the stage as Count Fosco enters the play in Act Two, despite soon losing his Italian accent. A special mention goes to Emily Woodward for her portrayal of two very different characters, the manic Anne Catherick and the more genteel Laura Fairlie.
The decor of the Grand Theatre itself aids the stage settings and costumes in this period drama. The Woman In White is quite a slow moving tale until the final act and feels quite lengthy in parts, however this tale of morals, values and intrigue in the Victorian age is still well worth seeing.