REVIEW: THE WOMAN IN WHITE (The Charing Cross Theatre) ★★★★★
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Musical The Woman In White, based on the 1859 novel by Willie Collins, premiered in London’s West End in 2004 where it ran for eighteen months. The following year the show opened on Broadway where it ran for just four months. Now, in 2017 the show has been revived in London at the very intimate Charing Cross Theatre. Buy tickets to The Woman In White
Art teacher Walter Hartwright sees a mysterious ghost of a woman dressed all in white, who says she has a secret to tell. Upon meeting the ghost Anne Catherick again, he finds out that the man she is most scared of is the man one of his students is due to marry, Sir Percival Glyde. Walter confronts Percival in front of his soon to be wife’s family and Percival explains the woman Anne is crazy and he has done nothing wrong. Walter is told to leave and never return. But after their wedding day, his wife discovers her husband’s true intentions and there becomes a blood bath of thirsty revenge.
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music for The Woman In White is incredibly beautiful. It is clearly his work and you hear moments of all of his best shows throughout the piece whilst also being kept completely original. It is truly some of his best work. The set design by Morgan Large is well thought out and could easily rival the designs of some big west end shows. No expense has been spared with this production, despite being in an off-west end venue. Costumes by Jonathan Lipman are exquisite and perfectly transport the audience back to the 1800’s.
Anna O’Byrne is simply divine in every role she plays (she has played Christine in both The Phantom of the Opera and its sequal Love Never Dies) and is just as incredible in the role of Laura Fairlie here. Ashley Stillburn steals the show as Walter Hartwright. Despite only graduating from GSA in 2014, his acting and vocal power are stunning and I can’t wait to see what he does next. Carolyn Maitland is another actress who can do no wrong these days. She has wowed audiences recently in lead roles in both Miss Saigon and Ghost and does a fantastic job as Marian Halcombe in this show. Chris Peluso gives a strong performance as Sir Percival Glyde and Greg Castiglioni gives a fantastic comedy performances as Count Fosco.
The Woman In White is a great opportunity to see one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic shows in an intimate setting and you’d be mad to miss it before it leaves The Charing Cross Theatre on 10 February 2018.
Reviewed by West End Wilma
Photo: Darren Bell