The Woman in Black mounts its fourth UK tour next month. The new tour, which runs concurrently with the long-running West End production, now in its 12th year, opens at the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham on 3 April 2001 before visiting a further nine theatres until 9 June.

In The Woman in Black, Arthur Kipps, a keen young solicitor is sent to wind up the affairs of a recently deceased woman. He begins to piece together the details of her strange reclusive life, alone in a remote and mysterious house, and soon finds himself under a curse cast by the spectre of a 'woman in black'. Years later, he recounts his experiences to a sceptical young actor in a desperate attempt to exorcise his fears.

The thriller is based on the 1970s novel by Susan Hill and is adapted for the stage by Stephen Mallatratt. Since opening in 1989 in the West End - first at the Strand, then the Playhouse and finally the Fortune Theatre - The Woman in Black has been seen by more than two and a half million people.

In the new touring production, Frank Barrie takes the role of Arthur Kipps. Barrie is best known for his own, highly successful one-man show, Macready. Damien Matthews plays the young actor. His stage credits include Translations (Dublin) and A Small Family Business (Chichester Festival Theatre). On television, he has appeared in Chalk on the BBC.

As with the West End original, The Woman in Black tour is directed by Robin Herford and designed by Michael Holt with lighting by Kevin Sleep. It is presented on tour by PW Productions.

- by Terri Paddock