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Theatre Visit Delivers Atmosphere and Suspense

21 January 2022

At the end of last term, Year 12 A-level English Literature and Year 13 Drama students travelled to London for the day to visit the British Library and watch ‘The Woman in Black’ at the theatre.

First we were lucky enough to visit the ‘Treasures of the British Library’ exhibition which holds some of the oldest and most famous books, letters and manuscripts to ever have been written. In this exhibition, we saw an original copy of the Magna Carta, Anne Boleyn’s own bible and Jane Austen’s writing desk along with a handwritten letter addressed to her brother. We can speak for the entire group when we say it was an incredible moment for us to be surrounded by and just inches away from such significant physical elements of history.

After an engrossing and exciting visit to The British Library, our group of Sixth Formers spent a Christmassy lunchtime in London’s beautiful Covent Garden. This was a lovely way to prepare our nerves for the play ‘The Woman in Black’. The theatre was not what we expected at all. A small room, and very up-close to the stage. This theatre has been hosting the Woman in Black for more than 30 years! 

We had initially questioned how a play, without editing and cameras, could possibly rattle us in the slightest… but were we wrong! As the play progressed we slowly understood how cleverly put together and performed it really was. The fact that the stage was so near to us, and the room was so small, meant the terrors of the play felt extremely personal and close, especially with the use of fake smoke, sound effects and flashes. The jump scares, the suspense, the brilliant acting and the horrifying and memorable face of the Woman in Black left us with goose bumps as we gasped and screamed on the edges of our seat with chills throughout the whole performance. We left the theatre still in shock from the cliff-hanger at the end of the play, and made one last trip around Covent Garden before heading to Euston station for a sleepy train ride back to Birmingham.

Lois Sutton and Molly Robert

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