The unanimously acclaimed stage production of THE WOMAN IN BLACK makes a welcome return to the Theatre Royal Bath from Monday 3 December to Saturday 8 December as it celebrates its 25th anniversary. After scaring audiences out of their wits across the globe, this uniquely terrifying stage production returns to Bath with JULIAN FORSYTH as ‘Arthur Kipps’ and ANTONY EDEN as the ‘Young Actor’, as they both reprise their West End roles.

“One of the most brilliantly effective spine-chillers you will ever encounter” – Daily Telegraph

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 skeptical young actor to help him tell his nerve-jangling story and exorcise the fear that grips his soul.  It begins innocently enough, but as they reach further into his darkest memories, they find themselves transported to a remote Yorkshire coast and caught up in a world of eerie marshes and moaning winds.  A sinister grey house looms, avoided by the tight-lipped locals and cut off by the treacherous quicksands.  As the border between make believe and reality begins to blur, the flesh begins to creep.

 “A marvellous exercise in spine tingling tension, spun from perfectly paced storytelling and stagecraft.” – The Independent

Stephen Mallatratt’s brilliantly effective adaptation of Susan Hill’s best-selling novel combines the power and intensity of live theatre with a cinematic quality inspired by the world of film noir. It is a formula that provides audiences with an evening of unremitting drama and sheer theatricality as they are transported into a chilling and ghostly world.

Julian Forsyth returns to the role of ‘Arthur Kipps’, after performing in The Woman in Black at London’s Fortune Theatre. His many West End credits also include Wicked, Les Miserables and Martin Guerre. He also starred as Fagin in Oliver! at Sadler’s Wells and has performed many times with the RSC, the Almeida and the National Theatre. On television, he has appeared in A Touch of Frost, Holby City, The Curse of Steptoe and Agatha Christie’s Poirot. His previous performances at the Theatre Royal Bath include Saint Joan in 1994, The Miser in 1995, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead in 1996, and Iolanthe with Carl Rosa Opera in 2007.

Antony Eden plays the ‘Young Actor’, a role he has also played in the West End.  His previous theatre work also includes roles with London’s Unicorn Theatre, Edinburgh’s Lyceum Theatre and Staffordshire’s New Vic Theatre. In 2010 he toured to the Theatre Royal Bath in Carrie’s War.

The Woman in Black was first performed at the Theatre-By-The-Sea in Scarborough in 1987 to rave reviews. It opened in the West End in 1989 where it has enjoyed continued success ever since.  As well as enjoying numerous major national tours, it is now the longest running show ever to be staged at London’s Fortune Theatre. Now in its 23rd year in the West End, over 7 million people have lived to tell the tale of one of the most terrifying and successful theatre events ever staged. Its success has subsequently reached a global level, having spread to the United States, South America and Tokyo.

Susan Hill’s novel The Woman in Black has reached an even wider audience this year with the release of a major motion picture, starring Daniel Radcliffe (‘Harry Potter’), which became the highest grossing British horror film in 20 years.

The Woman in Black was written by Susan Hill, whose other works include the novels I’m the King of the Castle, Strange Meeting and In the Springtime of the Year. Her books have won the Whitbread fiction Award, the Somerset Maugham Award and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and been shortlisted for The Booker Prize.  She has also written non-fiction and children’s books, reviewed books for numerous national newspapers and journals, and broadcast regularly.

Stephen Mallatratt wrote his early plays while working as an actor in Alan Ayckbourn’s Scarborough Company.  He adapted The Forsyte Saga for ITV in 2002, in a lavish new production of the BBC’s classic 1968 black and white drama.  His other television work included Coronation Street for Granada TV and Island At War (2004).

The Woman in Black has enjoyed six previous highly successful visits to the Theatre Royal Bath since 1989.  The production is directed by Robin Herford with designs by Michael Holt and lighting by Kevin Sleep, produced by PW Productions Ltd.

Much of Robin Herford’s career has been involved with Alan Ayckbourn and the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough. Joining the company in 1976 as an actor, he was appointed Associate Director in 1979 and Artistic Director from 1986 to 1988.  Robin has appeared in more original productions of Ayckbourn plays than any other actor.  During his time as Artistic Director at Scarborough, he commissioned Stephen Mallatratt to write Touch Wood and Whistle, a play about white witchcraft, and the phenomenally successful adaptation of The Woman in Black, both of which he directed.  His recent credits include Rain Man, The Secret of Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles and Season’s Greetings, all of which toured to Bath.

THE WOMAN IN BLACK appears at the Theatre Royal Bath from Monday 3 December to Saturday 8 December.  Limited availability. To book tickets contact the Theatre Royal Bath Box Office on 01225 448844 or visit www.theatreroyal.org.uk