The Woman in Black (1987)
The play was adapted from the Scarborough-born novelist Susan's Hill's acclaimed novella, The Woman in Black, by playwright Stephen Mallatratt and opened in the small end-stage studio space of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round. It was described as a 'Christmas stocking filler' which made a virtue of its limited budget which restricted it to a cast of two speaking roles with the bare minimum of props.
The original production was directed by Robin Herford who went on to direct every recast of the play in the West End and to direct it around the world. The original production starred Jon Strickland, Dominic Letts and Lesley Meade.
Inarguably, Alan Ayckbourn and his plays are most commonly associated with Scarborough and theatre in the round, but The Woman in Black has had a huge theatrical impact and is a highly significant part of Scarborough's cultural heritage.
Stage Adaptation: Stephen Mallatratt
Play Publisher: Samuel French
Other Media Adaptations:
Radio (1993, 2004)
The Woman in Black on StageWorld Premiere: 11 December 1987 - 2 January 1988
Venue: The Studio, Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round
London Premiere: 11 January 1989
Venue: Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith
London Transfer: 7 June 1989 - 4 March 2023
Venue: The Fortune Theatre, London
"I did not believe in ghosts…"
The Woman in Black
With thanks to Scarborough Theatre Trust for reproduction of archival material pertaining to The Woman in Black.