By PAUL COUCH
One of the West End’s most successful stage shows, The Woman In Black, celebrated its 27th anniversary this week. Stephen Mallatratt’s creepy adaptation of Susan Hill’s best-selling novel has terrified over 7 million theatregoers since it first opened.
Now producer P W Productions has announced that The Woman in Black is to embark on a major tour from September 2016, opening at Lichfield Garrick Theatre, until the end of June 2017, visiting over 30 theatres nationwide.
The touring cast will perform their roles at The Fortune Theatre in London from 8–22August. David Acton will play the role of Mr Kipps and The Actor will be playedby Matthew Spencer (pictured).
The production’s macabre popularity has reached a global level, having toured to the United States, South America, Tokyo and Singapore. In 2012, Susan Hill’s spine-chiller novel The Woman in Black was released as a major motion picture, starring Daniel Radcliffe, which became the highest-grossing British horror film in 20 years. The sequel to that film, The Woman in Black 2: Angel Of Death, came out in 2014.
Producer Peter Wilson commented: “Everyone at PWP Is proud to continue presenting this perfect piece of theatre. The 2016/7 tour of The Woman in Black is dedicated to the Herford family who have done so much to support, love and create this landmark production. “
Stephen Mallatratt’s adaptation of Susan Hill’s novel tells the story of a lawyer obsessed with a curse that he believes has been cast over him and his family by the spectre of a ‘Woman in Black’. He engages a young actor to help him tell his story and exorcise the fear that grips his soul. It begins innocently enough, but as they delve further into his darkest memories, they find themselves caught up in a world of eerie marshes and moaning winds. The borders between make believe and reality begin to blur and the flesh begins to creep.
The production is directed by Robin Herford, with designs by Michael Holt, lighting by Kevin Sleep and sound by Gareth Owen. The UK tour runs concurrently with the West End production.
■ PW Productions is soon to announce more details on itsplans for the New Arts Theatre in Leicester Square. It is claimed that the 400-seat Arts Theatre will present a very different type of building to the conventional West End theatres.