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The Woman in Black

“The Road Theatre Co. staging of Brit Susan Hill's gothic ghost story not only ensnares the audience within its tale of a thoroughly malevolent specter, it exudes a bone-chilling terror that seems to burrow right into the marrow. The transcendent performances of Joe Hart and Paul Witten are simultaneously engulfed and amplified by helmer Ken Sawyer…the environment created by Murphy, Smith and Marling/Sawyer evolves in perfect symmetry to the tale as the stuffy confines of the theatre give way to a cleverly staged train ride, a remote village, an eerie, secluded seaside estate and a thicket of fog that engulfs the surrounding marshland… Sawyer meticulously underscores every minute detail of this tale…Utilizing such age-old spine-tingling devises as mist, darkness, flickering candles, howling winds, rocking chairs, gravestones and a childless bouncing ball, Sawyer never allows this nerve-searing tale to loose its grip on the audience.” - VARIETY​

“The show demonstrates an answer to drama theorists who insist that stage cannot and therefore should not compete with film and TV. Instead, director Ken Sawyer takes that challenge by the horns and creates something between a movie and a ride film on the stage…all of which allows Sawyer, with his fastidious eye for detail and ear for timing, to generate thrills…Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion doesn’t do it any better.-LA WEEKLY

“…director Sawyer, his actors, and technical team likely will scramble your nervous system as effectively as any decaying Scary Farm ghoul…Sawyer uses them, and all his technical toys expertly.”

“A show in which all the spine-tingling jolts are struck at just the right time is a rarity. How unique then is this production, which not only operates with exact timing but, because of its intimate staging, does so in miniature; a pocket watch of terror, as it were… The point here is simply to delight and to scare, and the laughter and screams of the opening-night audience attested that director Ken Sawyer has done his job here and more… All credit must trace back to Sawyer, who had the faith to believe that this proven two-hander spectacle could work in a small space. The evening has the feeling of the small group of friends gathering around the fire for a true chiller.” -CRITIC’S PICK BACKSTAGE WEST​

“If you are in the mood for a righteous scare, scurry through the gathering mist to The Woman In Black …In Ken Sawyer’s masterful staging at the Road, the theatrical version is even scarier than the film…and that’s saying something…a frightful, delightful treat!”-CRITIC’S CHOICE- LOS ANGELES TIMES​

Ken Sawyer supplies impeccable direction making even the few unchilling moments worth savoring…Miss this spine-tingling entertainment -- if you dare!”

“Shrieks tear the air in the Road Company's production of The Woman In Black...The shrieks come both from the stage and from the audience in this splendidly chilling version of Stephen Mallatratt's adaptation of Susan Hill's novel. Ken Sawyer has his finger on the pulse of this excellent adaptation's potential.”

Under the brilliantly focused and grippingly captivating direction of Ken Sawyer, the actors performances that are so exceptional they nearly defy description…Theatre lovers, this is an A+.”

Guiding all these production assets into one entity of total enjoyment is director Ken Sawyer. Sawyer's pacing is crisp and clean. His visual concept of motion, eye for the ethereal, and respect for the written word ties all aspects together into a fine package which becomes a must-see adventure into the realm of the bizarre.”  -SHOWMAG​

“The Woman in Black is a rare, most exciting bit of Gothic entertainment…it scared the heck outta me. How much of the tension created is the handiwork of the two brilliant performers or how much can be credited to Ken Sawyer’s precision direction, I know not. But Sawyer’s imagination  is thankfully wild .”

A breathtaking array of visual and aural effects that make this spine-tingling thriller an unforgettably spooky experience…brilliantly directed by Ken Sawyer… Halloween might be over, but this gloriously scary scream-fest is a treat for all seasons.”

Lesser craftsmen have tried to use these same film techniques onstage and failed dismally. Sawyer brings gasps and screams from the audience…Good theatre moves you. I can’t remember theatre that actually scared me as I watched-until now. The Woman in Black is definitely a show you don’t want to watch by yourself, but is certainly a show you don’t want to miss!”
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