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The B List: Four ways 'Woman in Black' stretches Halloween into November

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 1, 2013 - Halloween may be over but tricks and treats still lurk in Sightly Askew Theatre Ensemble’s “The Woman in Black," directed by Rachel Tibbetts.

 

Set in the early 20th century, “Woman” is the tale of London attorney Mr. Kipps sent to a far-flung home surrounded by marshlands to settle the affairs of deceased client Mrs. Drablow. But town secrets that no one will discuss make the job more hair-raising than he could have known.

Pay attention because Kipps (B. Weller) and The Actor (Jared Sanz-Agero) switch roles as fast as children set loose in a costume store, as The Actor helps Kipps stage his ordeal as a kind of exorcism. Slowly at first, then at a steadier clip, scary prospects in this Stephen Mallatratt play from the book by Susan Hill may make you jump in your seat.

  1. A locked door, tried again and again, that you imagine will open at some point to reveal a waiting terror.
  2. A “pony and trap”-style carriage that at first portends a jolly good time but soon acquires a more sinister connotation.
  3. A seemingly harmless specter appearing to float on air who ultimately seeks perpetual revenge.
  4. Quicksand. Who hasn't had that dream?

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