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Drama Women In Black Review

1398 words - 6 pages

The Woman in Black is a 1987 stage play, adapted by Stephen Mallatratt. The play is based on the book of the same name, which was written in 1983 by Susan Hill. The venue for the woman in black was the fortune theatre in London and we went there on the 1st of November 2011. The Theatre from outside appears small old and slightly neglected, inside there was no attempt to prepare one for or indeed set the atmosphere for the nature of the play. The Fortune is small and the intimacy between actor and audience was brought out well by the fact that the furthest seats can only have been 15m away. The theatre is of Victorian style with ornate decorations and red carpets and seating, this instantly ...view middle of the document...

Another effective use of lighting was the torch when Kipps is searching the house for the ghost and when he sits down shines the beam above and behind him to reveal the woman in black standing behind him, the torch is clearly specially narrow beamed so that only a small area is visible and the audience feels the tension as they realise that the woman in black is lurking in the shadows. Again in the church scene gauze added to the impression of the dinginess that without it the scene wouldn’t have had. One use of lighting that I felt really was crucial to the scene was when Kipps is walking up the staircase towards the nursery with the rocking chair, the entire image is dark which turned an innocent act like walking up a staircase into a way of creating more tension in the audience, as well as Kipps the woman in black is seen on the stairs which allows here black clothes to be darkened even more and only her white face is visible to the audience.

Lighting was important but sound was just as important. The reason the sound worked was mainly due to the fact that it was only ever used in context and were it definitely added to the play. The background sound really drew the audience into the scene from the harsh rattling of the pony and trap to the warm conversation in the bar. It was especially effective for indicating the presence of objects hidden in swirling mist or supernatural noises. This was particularly the case in the scene were the young Kipps is lost in the sea mists and he hears a pony and trap coming
towards him, however neither he or the audience can see it and the fear that it will pass right by him builds the tension so that when the sound of a crash is heard the audience is horrified rather than slightly scared. Obviously the most important use of sound was the scream of the woman in black, at the moments of highest tension in the play the bloodcurdling cry shattered the atmosphere a. The real thing that made these screams so perfect were the pauses of absolute silence before and after in which one could have cut the atmosphere with a knife and the audience was so drawn into the play it was so quite you that you would of heard a pin drop.

Costume was simple with slight changes. The rack to one side of the stage was hung with a coat a hat and a scarf. One use of costume was when the real Mr Kipps was playing the employer of Mr Kipps (actor) simply by using subtle mannerisms and wearing him glasses on the tip of his nose like a man who looks down even on those taller than himself. The scarf and coat were not worn prior to journeys to and from the house this gave itself the idea of the bleak cold isolated marshes with the ...

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