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THE WOMAN IN BLACK Kavinoky Theatre
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Nov 9, 2021, 00:30
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Through November 21
THE WOMAN IN BLACK Kavinoky Theatre

Do you remember how Bram Stoker started his story of ďDracula?Ē
A lawyer was sent to Transylvania to handle Count Draculaís land purchase in London and to meet the nobleman.
It moved the story immediately to whatís going on, the vampire moving to a new blood bank.
For ďThe Woman in Black,Ē the story takes longer to get the lawyer moving to the back of beyond.
Stephen Mallatrattís stage version of Hillís novel is a two-character play, with David Lundy and Peter Horn.
It opens with Lundy as Arthur Kipps, trying to tell his story of what happened in a cold, wet coastal area of Britain, with a script which the acting coach (Horn) says would take five hours to read to an audience.
As the story moves along, Hornís character gradually assumes the personality Lundyís character is, early in the tale.
Hornís Arthur Kipps is a lawyer with a firm in London representing a woman who lives in Eel Marsh House, in an isolated coastal area so remote the nearest village isnít served by a railroad branch line but a branch line of a branch line to Crythin Gifford.
It takes a long time to get here because thereís too much backing and forthing of the acting coach telling Lundyís old version of Kipps heís not very good at acting.
And, to keep the audience in the room, we meet the bizarre range of people and animals who tell the story of Alice Drablow, the old woman who died and led to this tale.
Horn stays as Kipps while Lundy cycles through an array of costumes and characters with ever-stranger North Britain accents, who perform one sort of strange behavior or another and help cloud whatís actually going on.
They also claim not to know the mysterious Woman in Black who keeps appearing and disappearing and confusing Kipps.
This isnít a Stephen King story of ghosts.
Itís more Bronte or Bram Stoker.
Maybe we were waiting for Mr. Rochester to surface.
Overall, itís strong performances from Lundy and Horn and the uncredited performer who is the Woman in Black.
The story?
It would work much better as an overly long one-acter.
Still, itís worth seeing ďThe Woman in BlackĒ for Lundy and Horn.

A.W.

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