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West End Guide: Fortune Theatre London | The Woman In Black

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Located on Russell Street near Covent Garden, the Fortune Theatre is an old West End house. Opening in 1924, the theatre is presently owned and managed by the Ambassador Theatre Group, after having been passed down from playwright and author, Laurence Cowen. Construction work on the theatre began in 1922 and the Fortune became the first theatre to be built in London post the first World War. Designed by architect Ernest Schaufelberg, the Fortune Theatre features an Italianate style and is amongst the first few theatres to experiment with concrete construction. The theatre's facade was created from bush hammered concrete while brick piers support the ceiling. Terpsichore, the iconic figurine perched above the entrance was created by M. H. Crichton and is one of the most distinguishing features of the Fortune Theatre.

Originally named the Fortune Thriller Theatre, the theatre features an atmospheric arena and has hosted some equally atmospheric productions in its 94 years of existence. The Fortune Theatre has played host to some of the most iconic names in showbiz including Dame Judi Dench, Dirk Bogarde, and Alan Bennett, Peter Cook, Jonathan Miller, and Dudley Moore. Some notable productions at the Fortune Theatre include Sinners, Mr. Cinders, Nunsense, Beyond The Fringe, and many others. Since 1989, the theatre has hosted a stellar production of the British horror classic, The Woman in Black. The second longest production in West End, after Mouse Trap, The Woman in Black makes for an exciting viewing experience. If you're planning on watching the show, our Fortune Theatre Seating Plan guide has all the information you need.

Venue Details


Address: Russell St, London WC2B 5HH, UK

Opened: 1924

Seating Capacity: 419
Stalls : 189
Dress Circle: 106
Upper Circle: 124

Seating Chart
Check out the Fortune Theatre Seating Plan here.

Now Playing at Fortune Theatre London


The Woman In Black

Fortune theatre - The Woman in Black

Based on Susan Hill's 1983 novel of the same name, The Woman in Black first premiered on stage at Scarborough's Theatre By The Sea in 1987. The production was a breakout success and was transferred to the Fortune Theatre after two years, where it continues to play till date. Using many of Hill's own dialogue and descriptions, the thrilling novel has been adapted for the stage by Stephen Mallatratt. What sets The Woman in Black apart from your regular theatre fare is the fact that it features only two cast members and very minimal props. The horror elements of the story come across through the chilling dialogues and the moody atmosphere of the theatre. Presently, actors Stuart Fox and Matthew Spencer headline the two roles, playing Arthur Kipps and The Actor respectively. Robert Gill and Raymond Rose understudy for the two parts.

The Woman in Black has been masterfully directed by Robin Herford with set design by Michael Holt and lighting design by Kevin Sleep. Rod Mead is in charge of sound design and the show has been produced by PW Productions. Described by the Daily Telegraph as ‘The most brilliantly effective spine-chiller you will ever encounter’, The Woman in Black is, without a doubt, a show you shouldn't miss!

The Story

The Woman in Black is the tale of an excitable young solicitor, Arthur Kipps, who is sent to handle the financial settlement of a recently deceased woman named Mrs Alice Drablow. Upon entering the secluded and seemingly haunted Eel Marsh House, Kipps immediately senses the unnerving vibe emanating from the place, although he is unaware of the tragedy that's hidden in the dark corners of the house. During his visit, he chances upon a young dead woman dressed in black roaming around the house. Upon questioning the locals, Kipps faces silence and decides to investigate the woman and uncover her secrets on his own. The story also shifts to the future with an older Kipps recruiting a young sceptical actor to help him come to terms with the past and exorcise the ghosts of his past.

Director

Robin Herford

Playwright

Stephen Mallatratt

Leading Roles

Terrence Wilton as Arthur Kipps
James Byng as The Actor

Show Timings

Tue & Thu - 3 PM & 8 PM
Wed & Fri - 8 PM
Sat - 4 PM & 8 PM

Running Time

1 hour, 45 minutes. No intermission.

Practical Information


Section Accessibility

Stalls: The stalls can be accessed via 21 steps down from the foyer.

Dress Circle: This section can be accessed via 7 steps down from the foyer. The dress circle is the most accessible section in the theatre. Box A can be reached via a side exit on Crown Court with 5 steps. Both box A and row F are ideal for patrons who wish to transfer from a wheelchair to a fixed seat.

Upper Circle: The upper circle section can be accessed via 40 steps from the foyer with handrails available for support. Patrons with limited mobility should avoid this section.

Available Facilities

Wheelchair Accessible: Given the size of the house, the Fortune Theatre, unfortunately, doesn't have many wheelchair accessible seats. There are transfer seats available for wheelchair users who are okay moving to a regular seat during the performance but only one dedicated seat where a wheelchair can fit is available in seats F 16 and 17. If you choose a transfer seat, please rest assured that your wheelchair or scooter will be stored securely.

Restroom: There are toilets available for ladies on all three floors of the Fortune Theatre. Gents toilets are available in the stalls and upper section. A wheelchair accessible toilet is available near Box A in the dress circle section.

Bar: A licensed bar is available on all three levels of the Fortune Theatre. From bottled water and soft drinks to tea and coffee, there are tons of options to choose from.

Assistive Listening System: The Fortune Theatre is equipped with an Infrared sound system to make the show accessible for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing. This can be accessed at the theatre box office. You can also ask for an induction loop necklace if you're carrying a hearing aid or headset to amplify the sound.

Cloakroom: There is a cloakroom facility available at the theatre but only limited baggage can be accommodated. Please avoid bringing large items to the theatre. For each item checked in, there's a charge of £1.

Handy Tips


  • The Woman in Black is not suitable for small children and has a guidance rating of 12 and upwards due to the frightening content. Please note that children under 5 years of age won't be admitted to the theatre.
  • While guide dogs are not allowed inside the main auditorium to maintain a normal viewing experience for every patron, you are free to bring them into the theatre. A staff member will be present with the dog and look after them in the theatre foyer.
  • If legroom is a major criterion for you while deciding which seat to book, avoid most seats in the dress circle since the legroom in this section is nothing to write home about. Opt for seats in the stalls section if you prefer extra leg space.
  • While there are bars available in all three levels of the theatre, these bars don't feature a sit-down area so you'll either have to bring your drinks back in to the auditorium or gulp them down at the bar and rush back. A better alternative is to go for a meal before or after the show at one of the many great restaurants available in the Covent Garden area.
  • If you wish to purchase some show memorabilia or confectionery, there are many retail outlets available inside the theatre. Ice creams, programmes, and confectionery are all available.
  • If you're bringing your own vehicle to the theatre, park it at one of the nearby Q-Park car parks to avail a discount. This discount is available for patrons who have purchased a ticket to one of the participating West End theatres and Fortune Theatre is one of them.

Getting There


The Fortune Theatre is located in Russell Street on Covent Garden, one of the most popular and well-connected areas in London. If you're planning on taking public transport to the theatre, you can tons of options to choose from.

Tube: The nearest tube station to the Fortune Theatre is Covent Garden in the Piccadilly line and Temple Station in the Circle/District line.

Bus: The following bus lines ply close to the theatre: 1, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23, 26, 59, 68, 76, 87, 91, 168, 171, 188, 341, and 521.

Vehicle: The nearest car parks are located in Bloomsbury Square and Lincoln Inn Field. A NCP underground car park is also available in Parker Street.

Restaurants near Fortune Theatre London


1. Sarastro: With golden drapes and opera boxes adorning this flamboyant restaurant, you can be assured of a great time ordering delectable Turkish mezzes and mains.

2. The Delauney: Gorge on classic and modern European fare at this all-day brasserie in an elegant cafe surrounding.

3. Balthazar: Get artisanal breads and patisseries all made in-house with sandwiches and coffee for either takeaway or dine-in.

4. San Carlo Cicchetti: Try a seasonal menu of fine Italian fare at this sleek and modern dining room decked with marble tables.

5. Cafe Murano: Leather banquettes and a long marble dining bar for Angela Hartnett's Northern Italian dishes.

6. Christopher's: Enjoy a classic all-day American steakhouse and grill plus martini cocktail bar in this high-ceilinged diner. Discover Spanish delights that are served with sherry, cava and more, at this cosy, diner-style tapas bar.

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