The Woman in Black

This spooky page-to-stage ghost story is back to haunt Sydney, as starring Australian actors John Waters and Daniel MacPherson.
Sarah Ward
Published on April 16, 2024


Back in 2012, when Daniel Radcliffe was initially trying to shake a certain boy wizard from his system — before everything from Swiss Army Man and The Lost City to Miracle Workers and Weird: The Al Yankovic Story firmly helped — he stepped into a different kind of supernatural thrills. His first post-Harry Potter role saw him take on The Woman in Black, a gothic-horror tale that pitted him against a curse and a ghost. And yes, the latter did have quite the fondness for wearing dark clothing.

The film adapted the 1983 novella of the same name for the second time. But before The Woman in Black made it to the screen, it spooked out the theatre courtesy of Stephen Mallatratt back in 1987. Because hauntings often keep coming back, this play is doing so again, this time in a new Australian production starring John Waters (Blaze) and Daniel MacPherson (Foundation).

If you don't like scary tales about sinister spirits seeking revenge for past ills, then you might want to sit this one out. If you love them, then prepare to put your nerves to the test. We're betting that Theatre Royale Sydney will be at its unsettling best for the occasion — it's not every day that it hosts a show that ranks among West End's longest-running productions, second only to Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap, after all. Sydney's season will kick off on Tuesday, July 30, spanning till Sunday, August 18.

The Woman in Black is set in Eel Marsh House in England's north, which sits at the heart of a story that Arthur Kipps recounts about his stint as a young solicitor overseeing Mrs Alice Drablow's funeral. The place isn't just filled with secrets, thanks to the titular figure. Waters plays the elder Kipps, with MacPherson plays an actor who agrees to perform the role of his younger guise.

Images: James Reiser.


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