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The Marlowe Theatre Company Presents WOMAN IN BLACK

THE SPINE-chilling West End hit The Woman In Black comes to Canterbury's Marlowe Theatre next month (November).

Susan Hill's acclaimed ghost story comes dramatically alive in Stephen Mallatratt's ingenious stage adaptation. This gripping production, directed by Robin Herford, is a study in atmosphere, illusion and controlled horror.

Arthur Kipps, a lawyer (played by David Acton) is 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 sceptical young actor (The Actor, played by Matthew Spencer) to help him tell his terrifying story and exorcise the fear that grips his soul. It all begins innocently enough, but then, as they reach further into his darkest memories, they find themselves caught up in a world of eerie marshes and moaning winds.

The Woman In Black treads in the footsteps of the classic ghost story, following the tradition of Charles Dickens, Henry James and Edith Wharton. It is not a horror story or a tale of terror, yet the events build up to a horrifying climax and instil a sense of horror. It relies on atmosphere, a vivid sense of place, on hints and glimpses and suggestions, on what is shadowy, heard and sometimes only half-seen, to chill the reader's blood to the marrow and make reading the book alone at night inadvisable for the faint-hearted.

Stephen Mallatratt's adaptation for the stage remains entirely true to the book itself and uses much of Susan Hill's own descriptive writing and dialogue, while transforming the novel into a totally gripping piece of theatre.

The Woman In Black was first performed at the Theatre-By-The-Sea in Scarborough in 1987. The original production received rave reviews, paving the way for future productions throughout the country. It reached the West End in 1989 where it has been a major success ever since. Its success has subsequently reached a global level, having spread to the US, South America and through to the Tokyo theatre scene, and beyond. It has been by seven million people so far.

A major motion picture version of The Woman In Black was released in February 2012, starring Daniel Radcliffe. It became the highest-grossing British horror film ever, taking more than $100 million worldwide.

The Woman In Black is at The Marlowe Theatre, from Tuesday 1 to Saturday 5 November, with performances at 7.30pm and 2.30pm on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. There will be an audio-described performance (for blind or partially-sighted customers) at 2.30pm on Saturday.

Tickets, priced from £16 to £33 (concessions available; booking fee applies), are from the Box Office on 01227 787787, or marlowetheatre.com.


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