09 November 2022

The Woman In Black closing in West End after 33 years

09 November 2022

The Woman in Black is to close in London’s West End after 33 years.

The stage play, based on the 1983 book of the same name by Susan Hill, will have its final performance at the Fortune Theatre on March 4 2023.

Its producer said the “the economic reality of attracting so many young people” had caught up with the show “in a world of rising prices”.

Since its opening night, The Woman In Black has had more than 13,000 performances in the West End and been seen by more than seven million people in the UK.

In June 2019, the production celebrated its 30th anniversary with a special gala performance.

Producer Peter Wilson said: “The Woman In Black’s miraculous theatricality has never faltered.

“Out of a gauze, a wicker skip and a door, Stephen Mallatratt and Robin Herford conjured a complete world into which generations of young people have entered, surrendering to the ultimate magic of theatre: their own imaginations.

“However, the economic reality of attracting so many young people has caught up with us in a world of rising prices.

“My thanks to Charles Kay and John Duttine, the first cast in 1989, to the generations of actors who have maintained the tradition of excellence while inhabiting Susan’s marvelous novella and Stephen’s extraordinary adaptation, to Robin Herford – who has directed every cast over the 33 years – to all the staff at the Fortune and of course the team at PW Productions.”

Following a Christmas production in 1987 at a pub in Scarborough, The Woman In Black was brought to Hammersmith’s Lyric Theatre in January 1989.

Its West End run began shortly after and began at the Strand, now Novello, before moving to the Playhouse, finally reaching the Fortune in June 1989.

Hill, writer of the novel, said she was “extremely sad” the play was coming to an end at the Fortune Theatre.

She added: “It has been the perfect home for us for over 33 years.

“I am especially proud that Stephen Mallatratt’s wonderful stage adaptation of my ghost story has given generations of young people the opportunity to experience the enjoyment and the life-changing impact of theatre.”

Director Robin Herford added: “Leaving The Fortune is the end of a significant chapter in the story of The Woman In Black.

“It has been a privilege to have stewardship of this theatre with its wonderful staff in which to tell Susan’s devastating story in the highly original and imaginative manner in which Stephen conceived it for the stage.”

The show currently stars Julian Forsyth as Arthur Kipps and Matthew Spencer as The Actor.

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