It is with both characters on stage (this is essentially a two-man play) that the central premise is revealed. The older Mr Kipps has a story to tell, a real ghost story that has haunted him for years. Initially planning to simply read the story out loud, The Actor (William Manzano) soon convinces him that the correct approach would be to adapt it as a play.
Therefore, The Actor will play the young Mr Kipps (Red Atadero), with Mr Kipps himself portraying the various other characters dotted throughout the story, drawing on his past memories to give a true to life recollection. This may sound slightly complex, but the beauty of this stage play is that the way it is executed makes it anything but.
It is one of the great pleasures of the play to see the initially dubious Mr Kipps blossom as he gets into the various roles, reliving his past. This is mirrored beautifully with The Actor’s realization, through re-enactment of past events, of the true horror of the tale.
Shown as if rehearsing the play in an empty theatre, the production is very cut back, and it works wonderfully. Imagination is the key here, filling in the gaps for a horse and carriage or a murky marshland, props limited to a small hamper and basic costumes.
To explain the intricacies of the ghost story itself would be to ruin the experience somewhat, but I can reveal that The Woman In Black makes several memorable (and scary) appearances, after the death of an old widow for whom Mr Kipps legally represents… The widow’s house is often cut off from the mainland by the sea, and it is here Mr Kipps must travel to sort through her many bundles of paperwork. Never has a simple wooden door on stage felt so ominous and threatening.
Catch this famous ghost play in a unique way that transcends the classes of conventional dramatic horror. If you dare to see this play, contact Ted Guayco (0935 133 2893) for booking inquiries. Dulaang Kalay and Word of Mouth Theater Philippines’ ‘The Woman in Black’ is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Ltd., under Amateur License 131661.