The Woman in Black review by Linda Roberts

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A scene from The Woman In Black.

Having seen The Woman in Black play and the film previously, I knew what to expect when I went to Venue Cymru, Llandudno, last night.

My friend Dawn, who accompanied me, had seen neither, so I’d warned her there’d be lots of starts and jumps during the performance.

As it turned out, it was I who jumped more than her, because the anticipation of waiting for the woman in black to appear, got you on the edge of your seat.

And it wasn’t just me, one young girl screamed out loud when Matt Connor, who played The Actor, walked down the stairs among the audience at the start of the show.

A gentleman’s loud sneeze also startled an already mildly hysterical audience, and the shocks and starts were too much for one part of the audience who dissolved into fits of laughter, as it all got a bit much for them.

What is particularly impressive, is that this production is basically a two hander, with Malcolm James as Arthur Kipps and Matt Connor as The Actor.

They act out all the roles along the way, and because so much is left to the audience’s imagination it foments the anticipation and shock factor as the play progresses.

The story is horrific, the woman in black Jennet Humfrye is forced to give up her son to her sister Alice Drablow as she is unmarried. But her love for the child is so strong, that she returns to the sister’s house in Crythin Gifford and becomes a part of his life again.

But when the child and his maid is killed, Jennet contracts a wasting disease and dies, only to return as a malevolent spectre, whose sighting presages the death of a child.

The play centres around solicitor Arthur Kipps’ recollections of visiting Crythin Gifford, after the death of Alice Drablow and the horrors he encounters there.

The Woman in Black is at Venue Cymru, Llandudno, until this Saturday, June 27.

Go and see it, it’s a memorable, thought provoking and haunting production, with both actors excellent in their roles, but it’s not for the faint-hearted….