The Woman in Black Lyric Theatre, HK Academy for Performing Arts Reviewed: October 19 In an age when technology is used to achieve the most spectacular effects on stage, the best tricks of the theatrical trade are often overlooked. The Woman in Black, produced by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and newtheatricals, returns to the basics of storytelling, simple theatrics, the performances of the two leads and the audience's imagination. Written by Stephen Mallatratt, based on Susan Hill's novella of the same name, this scary, Gothic horror play has been running for almost two decades. In this Hong Kong production, director Robin Herford plays the lead role of Arthur Kipps, with Australian Brett Tucker as the younger Kipps. The Woman in Black is a play within a play, in which Kipps recounts a terrifying ordeal at the haunted Eel Marsh mansion many years before. He hopes that by having his story told - by a young actor - he can exorcise this traumatic memory. The play got off to a shaky start because neither actor projected his voices enough (the venue isn't ideal for actors who don't use microphones; The History Boys earlier this year had the same problem). The first 30 minutes or so sounded as if they were mumbling, but, as the drama unfolded, the actors, especially Herford, drew the audience into the tale of horror with their compelling storytelling. The basic but dramatic lighting, visual projections and sound effects added tension to the drama. I was on the edge of my seat by the end - although the show clearly failed to capture the imagination of the young woman sitting in front who sent text messages on her phone throughout.