The long running play is set to play its final performance at the Fortune Theatre in March 2023.
It has been announced that after 33 years in the West End, Robin Herford’s production of Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black will conclude its run at the Fortune Theatre on the 4th March 2023.
Talking about the news, Robin Herford said: “Since commissioning Stephen Mallatratt to write me a ghost story for Christmas to present for three and a half weeks at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Autumn of 1987, The Woman in Black has been a significant part of my life for a third of a century – and counting! The Fortune has been a very happy London home for this play, its intimacy providing not only the right scale and atmosphere for the action, but also a treat for the audience in appreciating this West End jewel with its classic Art Deco architecture. A perfect fit. 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.I am 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.”
Currently starring Julian Forsyth as Arthur Kipps and Matthew Spencer as The Actor, The Woman in Black has played over 13,000 performances in the West End and been seen by over 7-million people in the UK. In June 2019 the production celebrated its 30th Anniversary in London’s West End with a special gala performance.
A lawyer obsessed with a curse that he believes has been cast over him and his family by the spectre of a Woman in Black, engages a sceptical young actor to help him tell his terrifying story and exorcise the fear that grips his soul. It all begins innocently enough, but then, as they reach further into his darkest memories, they find themselves caught up in a world of eerie marshes and moaning winds.
Susan Hill, writer of the novel said, “I am extremely sad that The Woman in Black is closing at The Fortune Theatre in March next year. 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.”
The show originated as a Christmas production in 1987 at a pub in Scarborough, before transferring to Hammersmith’s Lyric Theatre in January 1989. 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.