I ventured to the McKittrick Hotel a while back for Sleep No More and absolutely loved it. The element of exploration drew me in along with the aspect of being anonymous in your mask. So, when I was updated via newsletter that a new show was enrapturing audiences there, I just had to see it.
The Woman in Black is performed within the Club Car section of the ‘hotel’, which isn’t even a hotel at all, but rather a dark and mysterious theatre. The show was at first destined for a limited run, but has recently been extending dates due to garnering the attention it deserves.
As you’re ushered into a room shrouded in light fog, you have the opportunity to order a cocktail prior to taking your seat. Soon enough though, two actors appear rather than an entire troupe, and though they aren’t armed with many props at all, they soon begin to pull you into their tale.
It’s a tale designed to unsettle. It drew me in with its humorous beginning and elegant use of the English language. The delightful British accents only elevated it further, and as you follow the carefully woven tale, you’re brought to the edge of your seat in anticipation of what might happen next.
The actors make use of the floor space in-between rows, leaving you fully engrossed as the terrible climax nears. At certain points, you’re immersed in complete darkness and at others, you are the focus of a lantern scanning the crowd.
Nothing, however, prepares you for the ending. It’s an ending in which the tale is no longer something you simply observe. It has drawn you in to the point of nearly being real, such that when you wordlessly make your way to the exit, you wonder at what point the ‘curse’ will take hold.
I highly recommend taking the time to witness this performance. The writing is phenomenal – every word being carefully chosen and placed within the play were a verbal quilt. It will also do an excellent job of jarring you out from reality if you happen to be having a mundane week. Perhaps it will even extend until Halloween.