One of the West End’s longest-running plays, The Woman in Black has been terrifying audiences in London since 1989.
Based on Susan Hill’s novel of the same name, The Woman in Black tells the story of Arthur Kipps, a solicitor who is sent to the remote town of Crythin Gifford to attend the funeral of a client, during which he sees a mysterious woman dressed in black. He is tasked with sorting his client’s papers, and so visits Eel Marsh House where she used to live. In the play, Kips enlists the assistance of an actor to help tell the unsettling things he witnessed.
The cast for The Woman in Black currently features Mark Hawkins as The Actor and Richard Hope as Arthur Kipps. The play’s original cast featured Charles Kay as Arthur Kipps and John Duttine as The Actor.
The play first opened in Scarborough in 1987 before transferring to London’s Lyric Hammersmith in 1989. It has run at the Fortune Theatre since August of that year, and is the West End’s second longest-running non-musical production, behind The Mousetrap.
Daniel Radcliffe famously starred in a Hollywood film adaptation of the novel in 2012, taking on the role of Arthur Kipps. The film also starred Ciarán Hinds, Janet McTeer and Sophie Stuckey, and was praised for its chilling horror. A sequel, Angel of Death, was released in 2015 based on a different short story by Susan Hill.
Hill’s novel has become a staple piece of literature on many school curricula, with many classes experiencing the play to aid there studies. Despite the success of the book and the films, there is no substitution for seeing the spine-tingling horrors of The Woman in Black live, on-stage.