It’s been playing in the West End for a third of a century, but you now have just four months to see Susan Hill’s, The Woman in Black as it’s finally closing its curtains next March.
Following a Christmas production in 1987 as a low budget production in a Scarborough pub, the stage version of Susan Hill’s 1983 novel was brought to Hammersmith’s Lyric Theatre in January 1989. Reviews were sufficiently encouraging (apart from The Independent, who regretted the production’s inability to incorporate a live dog) to warrant a West End run.
Its West End tour started at the Strand (now Novello) Theatre in March and moved to the Playhouse in April, finally lodging at the Fortune on June 7, 1989, where it has been ever since, and is now the second longest-running non-musical play in West End history, after The Mousetrap.
The plot concerns a mysterious spectre that haunts a small English town, and the plot remains faithful to Hill’s book, but adds an extra dimension of a play within a play.
Citing the “economic reality of attracting so many young people” at a time of rising prices, Producer Peter Wilson confirmed that the play will close on Saturday 4 March 2023.
Director Robin Herford said he is “proudest of the number of schoolchildren for whom this production has constituted one of their first experiences of theatre. Young people really respond to this play, and it gladdens my heart when I hear large numbers of schoolchildren queueing up outside before a performance. Earlier this Autumn, I got chatting to a teacher who had brought no fewer than 17 different parties of students to this show over the years! It’s how we grow our next generation of audiences.”
Throughout the run, the producer has been determined to keep ticket prices within the range of students and young people. Nevertheless, the production has netted investors more than £8,000,000 over the years at the Fortune. This policy will continue in whatever form the play and production take in the future.
Seats for the show are available from £27 with no booking fees from here.