Fauquier Community Theatre the Woman in BlackBy Laura & Mike Clark • Feb 2nd, 2007 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of Fauquier Community Theatre’s production of the Woman in Black [MP3 4:32 1.2MB].
Mike: The Woman in Black is a play adapted by Stephen Mattatratt from the book by Susan Hill. It’s the story of a gentleman who’s trying to tell a story and he can’t quite get the words out. He gets the help of an actor to help him recreate the telling of the story that happened to him several years back. In the process of him learning how to tell the story, the actor takes the role of the man and they recreate what happened. Basically he was a lawyer and had to go through some papers of this woman who died in this erie house. In the course of recreating what had happened, lots of spooky events happen. This is a classic ghost story. It started playing in London’s West End in 1988 and it’s still playing today.
Laura: I’m not a big ghost story person, but I enjoyed this play. There were only two actors in this show. I got drawn into the play. There were lots of twists and turns that I didn’t expect. I had an enjoyable time.
Mike: I’m not a big fan of ghost stories. I’ve never been intrigued by them. The show really didn’t do a lot for me. The performers did a pretty good job. The use of the stage went really well. It was an interesting set. They improvised different set pieces for different scenes as they were recreating the story. Through reading reviews of other productions of this show, people either loved this show or didn’t get much out of it. I didn’t get much out of it. I think that’s just a personal thing.
Laura: There were two actors in The Woman in Black. Allen McRae played The Actor. He actually played several different roles depending on how the plot went. He did a good job. He had a good scene towards the end of the play, which I won’t give away much because you really have to see it to really get it. He was pretty scared to be in that house by himself.
Mike: Arthur Kipps was played by Michael Reichgott. He did a good job at the beginning of the show being the person with a story to tell who didn’t know how to tell a story. Standing in front of the audience with a script in his hand reading the story as if he were reading a novel like War and Peace to us. It was kind of boring and the acor played by Allen McRae did a good job of telling him,”No! you’re going to put us all to sleep!” It was very believable the two of them getting into the story. Time passes and they have another rehearsal together. They took on the roles of the story by acting it out. That was a nice device. I don’t think I’ve seen that done before.
Laura: The set for The Woman in Black was very good, very creative. They brought on and off the prop pieces that they needed to create various scenes in the town and the theater and the house where most of the action took place.
Mike: One thing I liked in the show was they used the entire space available to them. There were only the two performers, yet they used the aisles of the theatre. They used the actual seats. Sometimes the actors came down and sat among the audience. I liked that. It was a very creative use of the space.
The special effects for The Woman in Black were pretty good. This is a ghost story so you’re supposed to be surprised. Do not go out on the internet and read other reviews of the show before you see it. You need to be surprised. It’s like a magician. If you know how he’s pocketing the ball he’s hiding or how the card trick works, it’s not as much fun or magic. So don’t do that, go see the show if you like ghost stories. If you don’t like ghost stories I don’t know if The Woman in Black will do a lot for you.
We also did see a matinee. That might have put everybody in the wrong mood. Seeing it on a Friday or Saturday night might be a little more exciting. There was one climactic scene near the end of the show. Instead of the intended effect there was laughter from the audience. It just didn’t feel quite right.
Laura: The Woman in Black is playing through February the 11th. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM and Sundays at 2 PM at the Vint Hill Theatre in Warrenton Virginia.
Mike: And now, on with the show.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/1851.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.