Her Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen – 24 to 29 November 2008
Billed as “the most terrifying live theatre experience in the world” The Woman in Black lives up to expectations. Stephen Mallatratt has adapted Susan Hill‘s novel very well into the theatre. The small, but perfect, duo of Sean Baker and Ben Porter weave together to transport their audience to the edge of their seats and leave them there with a scream on their lips.
Arriving in the theatre the set looks quite basic and drab. The start of the performance could be mistaken for a rehearsal as it is a gentleman reading from a folder, he then gets stage direction from another man down in the Stalls. This sudden voice from within the audience is just the first of many shocks during the evening.
The plot is based on the gentleman with his story written out in the folder he clasps. He wants to tell his friends and family what happened in his past and so lay the trauma to rest, and help them understand what he has been through. He has asked the other gentleman to help him with this presentation and the audience watches as they prepare for the main performance, and the story unfolds.
Cleverly written and performed with each man changing characters as necessary to the story it captivates from the start. The picture on the advertising leaflet bears a resemblance to that of the Ghost Tours in Edinburgh but this performance is much more real and enthralling. As are the finger marks on my arm from the lady sitting next to me.
Certainly not for the faint of heart this is an outstanding production which really should be seen to be believed.
- Maria Robertson