The Woman in Black returns to terrify audiences at the Kings Theatre, Southsea
A lawyer obsessed with a curse that he believes has been cast over him and his family by the spectre of a woman in black engages a sceptical young actor to help him tell his terrifying story and to exorcise the fear that grips his soul.
Stephen Mallatrat’s adaptation of Susan Hill’s spine-chiller has been haunting audiences now for more than 30 years.
The current cast for the UK tour, which calls in at the Kings Theatre next week, sees Robert Goodale playing Arthur Kipps, the lawyer, and Daniel Easton as The Actor.
The pair have been on tour since last September, and then had a three-week stint in Washington DC just before Christmas, before resuming here.
The show is a two-hander, but as Robert adds: ‘Well some say: “Isn’t there a third part?” But we’re in complete denial about a third part. Whether there is or not is up to the audience to decide. We’re not saying anything!’
Robert and Daniel didn’t meet until they turned up on the first day of rehearsal, but the pair have become fast friends.
‘We rehearsed for three weeks at the Fortune Theatre where it’s on at the West End. We were basically rehearsing on the stage from the word go, which was great, so instead of doing it in a rehearsal room, we we were able to pick up all the tricks as we went along.
‘And in terms of getting to know him, I just can't imagine what it’s like doing a show like this with someone you don’t get along with. I don't know that that happens very often. Obviously the show's been done so many times, there must have been one or two incarnations where they didn’t get along… It must be absolutely hellish.
‘I think Robin (Herford) who directs the show has just got such a good perception on the actors he chooses. He almost doesn't need to put the two people together beforehand, he knows that they will work together – he's got a very good instinct on that.’
‘We get on brilliantly and we’ve found ourselves going out for lunch with each other every day and even now that we’re on the stage so much together, we will spend a lot of time together off it.
‘I'm so lucky to have somebody as great as him to work with, and also we connect very well on stage.
‘And again, that feels very easy. It doesn't feel like there's any competition between us.
‘Quite often in the world of TV or theatre competitiveness can get in the way of the purity of what you're doing.
‘But this is such a beautifully constructed piece and it needs to be played by two actors who are there for the piece and not there for themselves.
‘It's a pure piece of storytelling and hopefully we have a relationship as actors which makes that work.’
THE WOMAN IN BLACK
Kings Theatre, Southsea