Related News

Home » Feature » Art and Culture

Box office hit has a haunting flavor

A play not recommended for the faint-hearted, "The Woman in Black," one of the most exciting, gripping and successful theatrical attractions in the West End, will open in the city next week.

Adapted from Susan Hill's best-selling novel, the play has been performed in London's Fortune Theater and the Churchill Theater for 20 years, becoming one of the longest running shows in the West End.

Acclaimed as a "first-class thriller," the play has just two in the cast - an old man and a younger man. Set in a forbidding and isolated house, the stage reveals little more than a chair, an old clock, clothes and toys.

However, the story itself is intriguing enough: an old lawyer is obsessed with a curse which he believes has been cast over him by the phantom Woman in Black.

He hires a skeptical young man and asks him to act out his experiences with the mysterious woman and people around him over the years.

So the young man plays the role of the old lawyer while the latter portrays the different people he has encountered. At first it is simple and innocent.

However, as they reach further into the lawyer's dark memories, they find themselves caught up in a world of horror.

Director Wang Yang, who had a British education, says the play is designed for "imaginative" audiences.

"It is not a logical play like one by Agatha Christie," he says. "It is a complicated story; what the actors do is to guide the audience so that they imagine all the thrilling experiences. It is really individual."

Xu Chengxian, a veteran actor who plays the lead role of the old lawyer, agrees: "To enjoy the play, the audience will have to get involved in the play as if they were reacting with the actors."

Wang adds that it is the first time a play about a ghost has been staged in China.

It will be performed in Chinese without English subtitles.

Also next week, "Thomson Marries An OL (office lady) Elite," a comedy featuring a group of DJs-turned-actors from Hit FM, the country's popular music radio station, will premiere at Shanghai Art Theater.

Labeling itself as a "pressure-release play," the play is based on hilarious anecdotes from an office. Integrating all kinds of topical references for young people, its aim is to make the audience "laugh as much as they can."

To learn more about the play and the actors, check

"The Woman in Black"

Date: July 17-August 1, 7:30pm

Tickets: 100-200 yuan

Tel: 6473-0123

Venue: Shanghai Drama Arts Theater, 288 Anfu Rd

"Thomson Marries An OL Elite"

Date: July 17-18, 7:30pm

Tel: 6256-8282

Venue: Shanghai Art Theater, 466 Jiangning Rd


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend