Father & son face The Woman In Black for anniversary run

The Woman In Black

The terrifying stage production of Susan Hill’s The Woman In Black, which has thrilled audiences around the world for 28 years, is returning to its spiritual home.

Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre first premiered the spine-tingler back in 1987 and now the venue is once again revisiting the play to mark its 60th anniversary.

The Woman In Black sees a father and son take on the lead roles for the first time in the play’s history in a production especially cast for the Stephen Joseph Theatre.

(l-r) Christopher & Tom Godwin. Fishuncle Photography

Since its debut at the theatre’s former Westwood base, the play has enthralled over seven million people worldwide.

The new production brings together the original director and designer, Robin Herford and Michael Holt. Robin Herford will direct Christopher Godwin and son Tom in the play which opens at the SJT on June 19 and runs until August 2 before transferring to the West End.

A regular from 1971 to 1977, Christopher Godwin has appeared in more than 30 productions with the company and created many Ayckbourn roles including Norman in The Norman Conquests.

He was also in the original cast of Ayckbourn’s Confusions which is being revived by the author for the first time this summer.

Christopher Godwin reprises his role as the solicitor which he played at the Fortune Theatre in 2000. He has appeared frequently with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare’s Globe and his most recent credits include This House at the National Theatre and The Crucible at the Old Vic.

Said Christopher: “When Robin asked if I was interested in doing the play with Tom I immediately said ‘Yes!’. It can be quite a challenge to do a two-hander but I’m very much looking forward to it, it’s a fantastic story which really does frighten people.”

Tom Godwin is making his Scarborough debut. Recent credits include Macbeth with Kenneth Branagh at New York’s Park Avenue Armory and a new adaptation of Alice Through the Looking Glass which features a star cast including Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter and is due to be released next year.

Tom will play The Actor in The Woman In Black but it is not the first time that father and son have joined each other on the cast list; they recently finished filming on the BBC’s The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses and in 2005 they shared the stage in Professor Bernhardi at London’s Arcola Theatre.

Tom Godwin said: “I’m thrilled to be performing at the Stephen Joseph Theatre. I was born in Scarborough and lived there until I was five.

“The people and stories of the SJT form a big part of our family life and to be working there with Dad feels like we’ve come full circle.

“We’ve worked together in the past but haven’t shared the space like this before. It’s a wonderfully crafted piece and it feels fantastic, in my 40th year, to be coming home for the 60th anniversary.”

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