couple men

Picture: Mark Douet 

The Woman in Black 

Malvern Theatres 


This legendry production of Susan Hill’s eerie ghost story, The woman in Black, is guaranteed to chill you and have you sitting on the edge of your seats!! 

Directed by Robin Herford, with designs by Michael Holt and lighting by Kevin Sleep, this show brilliantly delivers atmosphere, illusion and horror. 

Stephen Mallatratt’s adaptation of the novel tells the story of how a lawyer obsessed with a curse that he believes has been cast over his family by the spectre of the Woman in Black, engages a young actor to help him tell his story and exorcise the fear that grips his soul. As they delve further into his darkest memories the borders between make believe and reality begin to blur and the flesh begins to creep. 

The story begins when Arthur Kipp meets the actor and tries to tell him his story. The actor tries to encourage Kipp to use vocal dynamic and dramatic expression to tell the story but after this fails he decides the best way forward is for the actor himself to tell the story as Kipp, and Kipp to play all the other characters he meets along the way. The set is minimal, consisting of a packing box, several chairs and a clothes rail but the actor introduces sound effects, and with these and the use of the imagination of the audience the story is told. 

Arthur Kipp is engaged to deal with the affairs of the recently deceased Alice Drablow who dwelt at Eel Marsh House on an island over a causeway which is cut off by the sea at high tide. 

On arriving at the village nearby no-one seems willing to engage with Kipp or discuss the woman who dwelt at Eel Marsh House. 

Arthur, wanting to get the job done quickly decides to stay overnight at the house. 

A series of terrifying and unexplained events occur. The sightings of a woman dressed in black with a gaunt wasted face, the sound of a pony and trap crashing into the marsh and the terrible screams of a woman and child, not to mention the rocking chair which rocks by itself, understandably alarm and unsettle Kipp, but he does not believe in ghosts. 

As he continues his work a horrifying and tragic story unfolds which impacts upon the life of Kipp and his own family. 

The dramatic appearance of an apparition combined with very clever sound and lighting effects keep the audience gripped with terror and on the edge of their seats. 

There are outstanding performances from Malcolm James who returns to The Woman in Black to play Arthur Kipp having first played it on a UK tour and then at the fortune theatre, and Mark Hawkins who first played the actor in The Woman in Black at the Fortune theatre and the Madinat theatre. 

“Guaranteed to chill the blood” this performance runs from to Saturday 11th November. 

Jane Lush 


The Woman in Black returns to the Midlands next year at The Alexandra Theatre, 05-10 February 2024.

Over 33 years The Woman in Black played more than 13,000 performances at the West end and has been seen by more than seven million people in the UK. In June 2019 the production celebrated its 30th Anniversary in London’s West end with a special gala performance.  

Jon de Ville (The sound of music UK tour, Netflix ‘s Scoop, BBC’s Strike) plays understudy Arthur Kipps and Dominic Price (The Woman in Black) as understudy The Actor in this production.  

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