FORT MYERS, Fla. – Get ready to jump and shriek inside the Historic Arcade Theatre as the 2021-22 season continues with “The Woman in Black” based on the 1983 novel by Susan Hill novel and then adapted by Stephen Mallatratt as a British play in 1988 and a film in 2012.
Although I was not familiar with the show or the book I found it captivating and at times spine tingling but it is much more than just another good old fashioned ghost story.
Set in Britain in the early 1900s, the story takes the audience through strange events surrounding the death of Alice Drablow.
The costuming and set do a great job of transporting you to the time period.
Arthur Kipps is a retired lawyer who recalls being sent to the woman’s house, on an island with a causeway surrounded in marshes, to help her get her affairs in order.
The strange events that happened to Arthur while he was there affected him so much that he wrote it down in the form of a play.
The show is entirely performed by two actors (and a third who has no spoken script except a piercing scream) who take on other characters as they read through the manuscript.
David Darrow brilliantly plays the young Arthur Kipps hired to act out the script. V Craig Heidenreich who plays (The Actor) was passionate and convincing as he told his part of the horror story.
Both actors do a fantastic job of pulling you into the chilling story recounting the chain of events that Arthur had witnessed.
The production is brilliantly written and also uses a lot of cool sound effects that help you visualize as well as provide a few jump out of your seat moments.
The show certainly is not full of horror and for that reason, it’s appropriate for younger audience members 13+ as there are comedic moments mostly in the beginning before the mysterious plot thickens.
I found the show to drag a little in the beginning but if you see it don’t give up and allow yourself to be immersed in it. I found the second act much more mesmerizing which helped keep me on the edge of my seat.
The production is directed by Steve Pacek who leads a creative team including ensemble set designer Jim Hunter and costume designer Joel Abbott and stage manager Janine Wochna.
The show runs through November 14th. Tickets are available online at FloridaRep.org or through the box office at 239-332-4488