★★★ | The Girl On The Train – National Tour / Birmingham
Based on the best selling book by Paula Hawkins, The Girl On The Train stars Samantha Womack (Eastenders) as Rachel Watson, a troubled woman who romanticises about a couple she sees from her commuter train window every day, as she imagines the life she could have had. When one of the couple goes missing, she finds herself drawn into the mystery; but the gaps in her memory and her inability to separate out reality from her fantasy leads to her becoming a suspect in the woman’s disappearance.
Samantha Womack is entertaining as Rachel and she is ably supported by a small but proficient cast. The set changes are fairly slick, the set is sufficiently detailed, and the lighting and sound design all compliment the mood of the piece.
But for a thriller to work, it’s the story that counts, and over the course of the first act, the plot developed nicely and pulled in the audience, with a narrative which blurred fact and fiction, and imagination and reality; but as the second act unfolded the story became increasingly convoluted with a few too many red herrings and clumsy plot twists for it to maintain its momentum.
Having not read the book or seen the film, I’m not sure whether fans of either will find enjoyment or disappointment in this play, but as a standalone piece of theatre, it is competently presented and entertaining enough, but not a show which I would imagine will go on to become a classic.
The Girl on the Train is at The Alexandra, Birmingham until the 31st August 2019. Book tickets now
This review was taken from a showing at Sheffield and does not account for any cast changes or changes to the direction since then.*
A note from the editor.
These are tough times for us all. Without a doubt. But we're here for you and want to continue being here for you for the foreseeable future. THEGAYUK.com needs your help to survive. Due to the nature of the articles that we publish, we find it very hard to monetize our site and have been heavily restricted by ad platforms. This leaves us two ways of making money to keep this site going. 1) We run an online shop which we encourage you to visit and if you can make a purchase and 2) We run popup shops at the prides we media partner with. As you'll no doubt be aware the majority of pride events have been cancelled or postponed for 2020, which leaves our site at risk of closure.
Around 70 per cent of our funding comes from these popup shops. So we have a severe funding shortfall for 2020.
If just 100 people who use this site each donated £2 per month we'd be able to pay for the hosting for the rest of the year - meaning we can continue to keep THEGAYUK online. Please, if you can, consider donating £2 or whatever you can to keep us going.