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London Theatre Tickets » List of London Shows » Woman in Black » The Plot

Woman in Black - The Plot

The plot is a simple one which seems harmless at first. A house known as Eel Marsh House stands tall and isolated overlooking the grim and bleak outlook of flat salt marshes beyond the Nine Causeway somewhere on the coast of England's bleak east coast. The house was occupied by Mrs Alice Drablow who lived alone, and died alone. The stage is set for the story to unfold, a young Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor is ordered by his firm in London to travel to the funeral to sort out the affairs of the deceased Alice Drablow and her papers. Little did he know what was about to unfold before him and envelop him in a story of tragic secrets and mystery.

Eel Marsh house itself stands alone overlooking the windswept salt marshes and you just know it holds secrets that are going to be both unpleasant and frightening. We all have seen the same story when the lonely couple or lost person ends up at a house which we feel holds secrets that should best be kept secret, but we are stirred on to find out what is going to happen.

The setting is typical with an eerily creepy house with rolling fog, sea mists and dark stormy nights, creaking attic doors, a lone occupant who has died and a mysterious woman in black whose identity is a mystery. The ingredients are set with the entrance of a young and innocent solicitor who is thrust into the story and who believes a curse has been cast over him and his family over the following years all because of the woman in black.

Kipps begins to feel uneasy about his task as he visits the austere house with its shuttered windows to shut out the light and as he attends the funeral he glimpses a young woman dressed all in black with a wasted face behind the church at the funeral, and again at the side of a gravestone alongside the house itself. When questioning the locals they refuse to acknowledge even her existence let alone confirm who she is. So it is left for Kipps to have to wait till she appears again and again as she slowly reveals her identity to him and her terrible purpose.

Years later as an old man Kipps in an attempt to exorcise the spirits that he is convinced have possessed him, decides to open his heart and mind to relay this story to a young actor to exorcise the ghosts that have tormented him all these years. As the play unfolds around the conversations between these 2 men, Kipps wants to tell the story of his experiences at Eel Marsh House and the Woman in Black. His story starts innocently enough but it begins to blur between fantasy and reality as the true horror begins to unfold. You are dragged into this scenario and you begin to feel the fear yourself and react to what you would have done if you were that solicitor.

The Woman in Black is a classic ghost story in the traditions of Charles Dickens, Edith Wharton and Henry James. Whilst it is not a horror story, the events within the story lead up to a horrifying climax and is very atmospheric with auto suggestions, half seen imagery, and shadows to make the viewer feel alone in the house and experiencing the story yourself. Readers of the original novel had a similar feeling of unease and it was not for the fainthearted.

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The Woman in Black
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Showing @ Fortune Theatre

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