When you go to see The Woman In Black at the Hall For Cornwall, I implore you: please leave your mobile phone at home. Drink up in the bar. Go to the loo in good time before the start. Take some heavy-duty meds for that cough. Sit down and sit still.

This play is so sparse, the slightest noise or movement risks distracting the audience from its indisputable genius, and that would be tragic.

Dame Susan Hill’s ghost story was adapted for the stage 33 years ago at the request of director Robin Herford, who needed a winter show on the tightest of budgets. With just two actors and minimal props, it’s an absolute masterclass in the art of theatre, and entirely deserving of its enduring success.

Be prepared to work hard as the production team uses every tool in the box – light, shadow, sound, silence, even smoke – to harness your imagination to fill in the spine-chilling blanks.

It might start slowly, but by the end, the audience is on collective tenterhooks waiting for the next jump-scare. There’s no gore, but this is certainly not a production for the faint-hearted, although fans of MR James and EA Poe will lap it up.

The plot: the unassuming Arthur Kipps has engaged an actor to help him deliver a horror story from his past in the hope of exorcising his demons. The action flits cleverly between his unnerving recollections and the play-within-a-play.

Malcolm James and Mark Hawkins deserve accolades galore for delivering all the dialogue on a daily basis (twice on matinee days). It must be exhausting; as the Actor, Hawkins is in a state of near permanent terror, while James shapeshifts his way through an array of characters (including Kipps) and accents, utterly convincing in each.

Its inventiveness has made the show popular with school drama departments. We threw our age-appropriate concerns to the wind and took our 13-year-old daughter and her best mate. How we chuckled as they screamed and threw themselves at each other with each shock development. They loved it, and yapped incessantly all the way home.

“Don’t have nightmares,” I told Daughter that night. I woke at around 3am to the sound of my own screams and my other half telling me to shut up.

But it was worth a few sleepless nights to feast on this exemplary stage experience. Don’t miss it.

The Woman in Black continues at the Hall For Cornwall until Saturday, January 27.