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BrumHour was invited to the press night of The Girl on the Train by The Alexandra.
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
Please note this production contains strong language and inferred violence.
The Girl on The Train at The Alexandra
Directed by Anthony Banks, adapted by Rachel Wagstaff and Duncan Abel
Exploring the fractured and blurred world of Rachel Watson (Samantha Womack), modern thriller The Girl on the Train has arrived on the stage of The Alexandra until 31st August in Birmingham.
Rachel imagines the life of a couple, Scott (Oliver Farnworth) and his wife Megan Hipwell (Kirsty Oswald) that she sees on her daily commute, even renaming them Jason and Jess as part of her imaginary biographies for them.
One day, she discovers that Megan has vanished after seeing Megan with another man Kamal (Naeem Hayat), she finds Detective Inspector Gaskill (John Dougall) knocking at her door to find out what she knows. Coupled with this and her refusal to accept her ex-husband Tom Watson (Adam Jackson-Smith) new life with his current wife Anna (Phillipa Flynn) things are starting to unravel for Rachel.
This production is based on both the best selling novel and film of the same name (neither of which I’ve seen or researched as I wanted to see this story blankly). I have been keen to see Samantha Womack in this role since it was announced at the start of the year. The Girl on the Train offers an escapist thriller.
Each of the male actors have flawed characters to embody with Oliver Farnworth’s Scott not behaving as she should when faced with the potential loss of his wife. The female actors are given a lot to do apart from one random moment where a WPC is sent to get cups of tea! That aside there are solid performances all round.
This is an absorbing story about behaviour and expectations, and while it explores looking for guilt it has very few innocent characters. Samantha Womack delivers a fantastic performance as her character is quite devastated and broken. You feel her pain and how trapped she is in her crappy, messy and outdated bedsit. She hides the vodka in her wardrobe and avoids the outside world as much as possible.
I enjoyed the music with its cinematic qualities and sound effects, projections used for the train itself and the blank black three-walled canvas that contain the set. The number three repeats throughout as the idea of love triangles echo through the narrative and we begin to wonder what the truth might be. I also noticed how Kirsty Oswald’s character is the only one given bright clothing as the missing Megan.
I’m not sure what those who have seen the other versions of this story might make of it but I was engrossed from start to finish and had really no idea how the story would play out. Ultimately this is a rewarding tale of love, loss and moving on.
Book tickets to The Girl on The Train which is at The Alexandra until Saturday 31st August using BrumHour’s affiliate link >>HERE<<.
See further 2019 Tour dates here: girlonthetrainplay.com
The Alexandra Theatre is part of The Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG Tickets). Until 5th September ATG TheatreCard is offering £20 off their annual classic membership. Normally £45, The ATG TheatreCard Classic is available using #BrumHour’s affiliate link >>HERE<< for just £25 when you purchase with Debit/Credit Card.
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ATG Tickets website says:
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When not writing about theatre for BrumHour, or producing Interval Theatre for Brum Radio (Tuesdays 3pm) brumradio.com/intervaltheatre,
Dave Massey can be found eating crisps and claiming to be at the gym. And tweeting about Birmingham for #BrumHour.