Over eight million people have lived to tell the tale of one of the most successful – and terrifying - theatre events ever staged, and it’s coming to shock audiences in Chicago this fall. The Woman in Black – London’s long-running West End play - will open at Chicago’s Royal George Theatre in November with all the stage thrills that have led audiences in London to shriek in fear for 30 years.
Susan Hill’s Gothic ghost story, adapted for the stage by Stephen Mallatratt, is set in an isolated windswept mansion with tragic secrets hidden behind its shuttered windows. There, a young lawyer encounters horrific visions in the house set amidst the eerie marshes and howling winds of England’s forbidding Northeast Coast. With just two actors, The Woman in Black offers audiences an evening of unremitting drama and sheer theatricality as they are transported into a chilling and ghostly world.
London’s The Independent said of it, “The atmosphere is so charged-up that on more than one occasion the entire audience screamed in terror.” The Daily Mail called it “A nerve-shredding experience.”
Reviewing the West End production this past January, the London newspaper The Daily Express said, “As the tale unfolds, it tightens its grip on the spectator like a medieval instrument of torture… It is all staged impeccably with amazing sound effects and shocks that make you jump out of your seat. But it is the simplicity that impresses. It is profoundly effective, and it will scare the living daylights out of you.
The Guardian’s Mark Lawson said, “the great pleasure of the production remains the way in which Mallatratt and the director Robin Herford (who has been in charge of all the play’s incarnations) utilize the fears and imagination of the audience, so that, for example, a few glances and hand gestures create out of nothing a dog who is as convincing as animatronics, while a few puffs of stage smoke or a flap of fabric conjure up geographical and physical presences.”
For the Chicago production, director Robin Herford will recreate his original staging for the first time in the U.S., with a Chicago-based cast. This American premiere of the Original London West End production, presented by PW Productions and Pemberley Productions, will begin previews November 15th , with a Press Opening on November 18th at the Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted St., Chicago.
The History of THE WOMAN IN BLACK
Susan Hill’s novel, THE WOMAN IN BLACK was originally published in 1983 and has thrilled and spooked millions of readers ever since. Robin Heford commissioned Stephen Mallatratt to adapt the novel for the stage in 1987 and it was produced as a Christmas show at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, U.K. After months of sold out performances, the play transferred to London’s West End in January 1989.
The classic chiller was released as a major motion picture starring Daniel Radcliffe in 2012, and soon became the highest grossing British horror film in 20 years.
The Chicago production of THE WOMAN IN BLACK will star Bradley Armacost as Arthur Kipps and Adam Wesley Brown as The Actor.
Performances of THE WOMAN IN BLACK are as follows: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30pm; Sundays at 7:00. Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30pm. Tickets are $49 to $69. To purchase tickets, please visit http://www.ticketmaster.com or the Box Office at 312.988.9000. For more information, visit http://www.theroyalgeorgetheatre.com.