Act II Playhouse to Present THE WOMAN IN BLACK, 10/29-11/24
Act II Playhouse presents The Woman in Black, one of the most popular and spine-chilling theatrical events of all time. Adapted by Stephen Mallatrat from the novel by Susan Hill, The Woman in Black is directed by James J. Christy and plays at Act II Playhouse in Ambler from Oct. 29 to Nov. 24, 2013.
The Woman in Black, a Ghost Play is the second-longest running show in London history (after Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap). "Over 7 million people have lived to tell the tale," according to the original production's web site. The Woman in Black recently celebrated 25 years in the West End; the novel was also adapted into a hit movie starring Daniel Radcliffe in 2012.
Tickets for The Woman in Black at Act II Playhouse are $23- $34. Discounts are available for subscribers, students, group of 10 or more, and seniors (65+). Tickets are available online athttp://www.act2.org, by calling the Act II box office at (215) 654-0200, or in person at 56 E. Butler Ave. in Ambler.
Two actors play multiple roles in The Woman in Black, which tells the story of Arthur Kipps (played by Dan Kern), an English solicitor who hires an actor (played by Jered McLenigan) to relive a haunting moment from his past. Together, the two men recreate the time when Kipps was summoned to the funeral of Mrs. Alice Drablow, and stayed at the haunting and haunted Eel Marsh House. Through the re-telling, Kipps attempts to exorcise the memory of the terrifying events he experienced ... and learn the secrets of "The Woman in Black."
"It's a very, very good story," said Christy, a Barrymore-Award winning director. "I think people will enjoy it just as a plain old ghost story. Yet the conceit of the play-within-a-play keeps it from getting too overwrought too fast. You work up a certain amount of heat and then it cools off a bit. I think that rhythm is going to really engage people."
The Woman in Black's creative team includes set designer Daniel Boylen, costume designer Frankie Fehr, sound designer Christopher Colucci and lighting designer James Leitner.
"In order to create this illusion of storytelling, a lot of sound and light and effects have to be coordinated extremely tightly," Christy said. "About 50-to-60 percent of the play is what we would think of as 'normal' scenes: discussion between actors, encounters between characters. But the others are spectacle sequences or action sequences, where there's a lot of specific detail. Even though the show's appearance will be very simple - because it's just a stage and two actors - the manipulation of movement, sound and set will be extremely elaborate."
Christy has seen the show on the West End, but will make this production his own.
"Sometimes the London production plays it a bit campy. I don't intend to play it campy. I want to play it for real," he said. "I'm hoping the terror will come from the immediacy of the acting and the experience and not from gimmick."