Review: Woman in Black

After an amazing 33 year run in London’s West End, Susan Hill’s terrifying tale Woman in Black comes to Ipswich.

Haunted by an apparition he encountered working as a young solicitor, Arthur Kipps tells his story of how he was sent to a small market town on the North East Coast of England to attend the funeral of an elderly widow, Mrs Alice Drablow and to deal with her estate.

On arriving Kipps discovers that the townsfolk are unwilling to help him and that they seem reluctant to attend the funeral or to go anywhere near Alice’s remote home in the marshes. But why?

What Kipps encounters during his time there has haunted him for the whole of his life and in a final attempt to exorcise his demons he recruits a sceptical young actor to help him to tell his terrifying story to a wider audience in the hope it will cleanse his soul.

The Ipswich Regent, known more for its musicals and live bands, is not the obvious choice of venue for this kind of dramatic performance but it worked brilliantly and there was an air of anticipation as the audience took their seats.

It’s hard to review a play, such as Woman in Black without giving too much away, however, what I will say is that it is an edge of the seat, nail biting production with a real twist in the tale that will leave you stunned. 

A thoroughly brilliant performance by both Malcom James as Arthur Kipps and Mark Hawkins as The Actor who brought the narrative to life in the most emotional and believable way.

This production has some very clever staging, lighting and sound effects which only add to the atmosphere, you really feel like you are with Kipps as he goes through his terrifying ordeal.

Woman in Black is a fabulous production and it’s not hard to see why it has become such a huge success.  A thrilling story told in the most amazing way.

Be stunned, be shocked, be terrified, but definitely be in the audience!

Woman in Black is at the Ipswich Regent Theatre until Saturday 9th March.  To book tickets visit


Review: Wendy Cook, Ipswich24 Magazine