Saturday, 18 October 2008

In Society...

...well, not really anymore. Tonight I went to the Theatre, something I'm getting quite a taste for. Having previously seen An Inspector Calls, and Dracula, the latter being quite terrible, and more recently Strangers on a Train and the musical Hairspray on Broadway, I'm realising I'd like to see more. It has changed a lot though. I really wish it was still a dress up affair, rather than the mash up you get of people not knowing whether to dress up, dress down ans so on. It didn't help that I turn up in jeans, my mate arrives from work in a suti an tie, making me look like some kind of retarded friend he's trying to educate, desptie it being my idea to go.

So tonight I went to see The Woman in Black, a horror story based on the novel by Susan Hill with a similar style to MR James ghost stories. I won't give anything away here, you can look for it on the internet, or even go to see it. It's highly recommended. And it's bloody scary, even in a full-ish theatre, with people laughing defensively awaiting the shocking moments, this production still had me in goosebumps. The story is only told between two characters, but this helps the whole atmosphere. There is a section when the protagonist lies asleep on the dimly lit stage, and I swear I could see the Woman in Black in the shadows. Now I'm not even sure she was there at this point, that my eyes surely played tricks on me, but this is why the play works, especially as the story reaches its climax in the second act. I'm getting chills just thinking about it now.

On a downside, the uncomfortable laughing did get a little annoying. This play would definitely work a lot better in a smaller theatre, but I can ignore those few who cannot hold in the urge to laugh. I did get images of The Tingler, but instead of screaming to kill the creature, you must laugh. I understand this makes us more relaxed, but then why come and see a scary story to begin with. Isn't that the point, to scare yourself. This is the one thing I've never understood. I'm rarely scared in horror films these days, but then I don't fall about laughing. I have to admit that even with Evil Dead, I laugh at the obvious comic moments, but I'm still a little put off by the level of gore. Its just a little creepy. Even creepier if you laugh at the gouging out of eyeballs, however fake it looks.

I've started to moan now so I'll stop. As I said before The Woman in Black is highly recommended, please try to see it whenever it runs. Now I must find some MR James to read. I've only ever seen theTV specials always shown around Christmas time. I think its about time I read some, especially with Halloween approaching.

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