On Wednesday, Year 11 Drama students travelled to the Fortune theatre and prepared to be shaken by the terrifying play that has taken London by storm for almost twenty-five years – The Woman in Black. Based on the original story by Susan Hill, the play is legendary for how chillingly scary it is, and it certainly didn’t disappoint, with many members of even our Drama group screaming in fear!

Grip of terror - thewomaninblack.com

The piece is in many ways a play within a play, as the story is centred around a man wishing to have his experience in a haunting house dramatized, and we see his story through the rehearsal process. As we arrived at the theatre we realised that it was the perfect location, because it felt just like the theatre that the play was set in. Finger-clicks and dramatic changes in lighting were used to emphasise the switch from the ghost story, and the actors discussing in the theatre. We were charmed by the historical setting, and the character’s amazement at ‘recorded sound’.

We saw, as we settled to our seats, a set that seemed fairly minimal: a box, some chairs, and a costume rack, with a partially transparent mesh backgrounding the stage and two entrances to the stage through the door. The play was clever in its use of tiny devices, and blacking out parts of the stage allowed the woman in black to creep in unnoticed, jumping out to terrify us - when we least expected it!

The play gave us a lot to consider for the ever-approaching Drama exam. Thanks go to Mr Millar for organising the visit, and to Mr Clayton for accompanying the group.