Friday, November 21, 2014

Spooky stories

The Babe Magnet and I just spent a special  two days in York. I love this city with its ancient walls, the minster and the river.  We did some Christmas shopping  - how did it get to November? - and  on Thursday night we went to a production of The Woman in  Black  at the Theatre Royal.

Have you read  The Woman in Black? Or seen the film?  I've done both - and I couldn't begin to think of how someone could produce a stage performance of the book - like the film - but with only 2 actors!   I also didn't think that, having read the book and seen the film, it could scare me any more.

I was wrong. What a production. And it was all the more fascinating because it showed  the real power of the imagination in a way that  all the special effects/horror films can never create.  A bleak, almost bare stage, occasional light effects or sounds. . . .   2 men who changed costumes/characters with a different accent or a change of jacket. We were there on the night that a party of school children came to the theater. They must regularly see real horror films or video games - but  when the play worked on their imaginations they were more scared by what they couldn't see  than  what they could.

It was a real way of showing how powerful our imaginations are - which made me think of when people read my books and what are really just words on the page build up pictures in their thoughts and they grow stronger and clearer so that the story really takes off.  And probably no one quite see exactly the same thing whoever reads those words.  Isn't the imagination amazing?

It was also a great way of showing that there is no one way to tell a story - those 3 versions  of the original book have been so varied, different. But each one tells the story their way  - bringing it to life in their own special way.

We had a great night - and the walk back  through the dark, winding, cobbled streets of York had an extra thrill  as we looked at any dark figure of shadowy corner with a new and rather nervous  attitude.


Maria said...

I often think it must have been great to see Shakespeare plays as they were originally performed, just a bare stage at the centre of the theatre. On the other hand, I once attended a two man comedy show in Dublin about a mad Irish wedding, in which half the audience were dragged up on the stage and a boy and girl from the audience were 'picked' to be the married couple. Plus, the two comediens played multiple roles and kept chatting to members of the audience as if they were wedding guests. Theatre is a fantastic medium, so much can be done with it. York sounds lovely. If I ever get a chance to tour England, that's definitely on my list of places to visit.

Wendy's Writing said...

The woman in Black is coming to a theatre in Brighton so I might go to see it now (although I don't particularly like being scared!)

Kate Walker said...

Hi Maria! I agree with you - sometimes in a play the scenery and /or special effects are wonderful - when I went to see The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Nighttime in London in September that was the case - but at other times there's nothing like a bare, stripped stage and the use of your imagination. In this production, there was an imaginary dog - but both the actors responded to it, and reacted so well 'with it' that everyone believed it was actually there! And your imagination can create much more that a writer's words can express.

I think you'd love York - it's one of my most favourite cities so I'm lucky that it's just near enough to visit regularly. I hope you get to see it.

Kate Walker said...

Hello Wendy - thanks for visiting here. If you do get a chance to see The Woman in Black in Brighton,. it's well worth it. Though it is pretty scary, I warn you!¬ Best take a friend who'll hold your hand. ;-)

Trekking in Nepal said...
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