The Woman in Black by Doha Players

We catch up with director Haven Tsang ahead of performance

The Woman in Black by Doha Players
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So what’s this play about?
Woman in Black is a story about a lawyer called Arthur Kipps who is sent to a remote village to represent his firm at a client’s funeral. Arriving at the village, he discovers that his client’s story runs deeper than he thought. It is set as a play within a play with Arthur Kipps wanting to tell his story and hiring a professional actor to help him. The actor then plays a younger Kipps while the real Kipps portrays all the other characters he interacts with.

It’s just been made into a film correct? How will the show in Doha compare?
The stage play and the recent film are similar but the film has a few minor detail changes, however the minor detail changes make a big difference to the characters and subsequently to the story. The stage play is very similar to the book.

What’s interesting about this show? Why did you choose it?
I have seen the show a number of times in London and in Liverpool and what I found very interesting is that it plays to the audience’s imagination, this is done by heavily using the lights and sound as well as the acting. From a technical perspective I wanted to see if I could recreate the same atmosphere.

Have you directed before?
This is my directorial début, usually I look after the lighting for Doha Players productions. It was hard work and the learning curve was steep but I enjoyed every moment and wouldn’t hesitate to direct again.

What’s challenging about the production?
The most challenging aspect is remembering that as an amateur production, everyone involved is a volunteer and are giving up their free time, for which I am extremely grateful. At times it was hard work but not one person walked away, not one person wanted to hand responsibility to someone else and I think that is a testament to the Doha Players and their members.

What have rehearsals been like?
I cast two actors who are no strangers to Doha Players’ productions; their dedication and experience showed in rehearsals, especially as myself and David (Kipps) were involved with Wizard of Oz a month before so had little prep time.

It’s not a family show, right?
More aimed at the 16+ audience, people can expect a good story! That’s a bit different from the average show in Doha!

The Players like to put on a wide range of shows from Oscar Wilde to musicals and pantomimes and the first step is always to find a director. I had proposed the show a couple of years ago, but I felt the timing wasn’t quite right to do it as there were a number of large scale productions on at the time.

It’s got a lot of suspense right? Are we going to be frightened?
I wouldn’t describe the play as scary, more ‘jumpy’; that is the reaction I am hoping for.

What’s your favourite part of the show?
I don’t have a favourite part of the play, but watching it all fall in place with lights, sound, sets, props is a feeling I can’t describe!
The Woman in black takes the stage October 10-13 at Qatar Academy Auditorium. Tickets are QR75, including interval refreshments, available at THE One at Landmark Mall. For more information email doha_players@yahoo.com

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