The most terrifying live theatre experience in the world is returning to Australia this year. The Woman in Black, described by the Daily Telegraph (UK) as “The most brilliantly effective spine-chiller you will ever encounter” is the second longest-running play in West End history, after Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap.
Susan Hill’s acclaimed ghost story comes dramatically alive in Stephen Mallatratt’s ingenious stage adaptation, a brilliantly successful study in atmosphere, illusion and controlled horror. This gripping production will play limited seasons in Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne, Canberra and Newcastle from May to July.
The Woman in Black will star two of Australia’s most acclaimed actors, John Waters and Daniel MacPherson. With a career spanning 50 years, John Waters is well known for lead roles in the film Breaker Morant and the television series Rush, All the Rivers Run, Rake and his 20-year run on Play School.
His prolific stage work includes Hair, Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar in the 1970s, through to the musicals The Rocky Horror Show, They’re Playing Our Song opposite Jackie Weaver and The Sound of Music opposite Lisa McCune.
An accomplished musician, John has toured Australia many times with his one-man show Looking Through a Glass Onion. John previously starred across Australia in The Woman in Black in 2006, opposite Brett Tucker.
Daniel MacPherson has conquered film, television and stage roles across the world in a career that has spanned over 25 years. After rising to fame on Neighbours, Daniel spent two years in the UK on the popular TV series The Bill and starred on stage in Godspell alternating in the roles of Jesus and Judas.
Internationally, he has starred in the TV series Strike Back, APB, The Shannara Chronicles and Foundation – based on Isaac Asimov’s book series – and his feature film credits include Poker Face, A Wrinkle In Time and the sci-fi films The Osiris Child and Infini. On Australian television, Daniel has had lead roles in City Homicide and Wild Boys, as well as hosting Dancing with the Stars for seven seasons.
Most recently Daniel has featured on stage in 2:22 – A Ghost Story in Melbourne opposite Ruby Rose, Gemma Ward and Remy Hii and will next be seen opposite Russell Crowe in the upcoming feature Land of Bad.
“I first saw The Woman in Black in 2020 and knew I had to bring it back to Australia. It’s such an incredible gripping show that is so spellbinding, it has you on the edge of your seat for two hours,” said Producer Alex Woodward.
“When it came to casting we knew it was perfect to ask theatre royalty John Waters to reprise his role he debuted in Australia more than 15 years ago. Daniel was also a natural choice for his incredible ability, charm and charisma.”
Written in 1983, Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black has become one of the most successful gothic novels in the English canon. A perfect example of horror and gothic writing, readers are transported to the eerie setting of Eel Marsh House in the small market town of Crythin Gifford in the north of England.
The story is told through the first person narration of Arthur Kipps, who begins the novel too distressed to share a ghost story with his family, and then recounts how as a young solicitor he was sent to oversee the funeral of a Mrs Alice Drablow, a client of his law firm.
Along the way he encounters many who seem unwilling or unable to share the secrets of Eel Marsh House and its inhabitants, until he himself encounters the Woman in Black, and begins to unravel the mystery of the haunted past and eerie spectre he sees.
The Woman in Black “will scare the living daylights out of you” (Daily Express) – see it if you dare!
Directed by: Robin Herford | Featuring: John Waters and Daniel MacPherson | Associate Director: Antony Eden | Designed by: Michael Holt | Lighting Design: Kevin Sleep | Original Sound Design: Rod Mead | Sound Designer: Sebastian Frost
The Woman in Black will play Playhouse – QPAC, Brisbane from 1 May, Dunstan Playhouse – Adelaide Festival Centre from 15 May, His Majesty’s Theatre, Perth from 30 May, Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne from 14 June, Canberra Theatre Centre from 9 July, and Civic Theatre, Newcastle from 23 July 2024. For more information, visit: www.thewomaninblack.com.au for details. View the trailer here!
Image: John Waters and Daniel MacPherson – photo by James Reiser