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Get on board this train for a thrilling ride

The Girl on the Train, Belgrade, Coventry, to May 18.

Adapting Paula Hawkins’ 2015 best-selling novel for the stage was never going to be easy for Rachel Wagstaff and Duncan Abel, since much of the dialogue in the book relates to the lead character's inner thoughts and emotions.

But they've produced a play that cleverly conveys to the audience the vast range of emotions experienced by eponymous girl on the train, Rachel Watson, played by Samantha Womack.

Womack’s performance is mesmerising, from the initial scenes in her bottle-strewn apartment, to the gripping climax where she finally conquers her inner demons. Unlike the 2016 film version, the play stays true to the original story and is set in England, with cleverly constructed set designs of sliding box habitats, and train screen projections - hats off to designer Andrzej Goulding - which create the perfect "thriller" atmosphere.

Oliver Farnworth is convincing as Scott Hipwell, the distraught and at times, unhinged husband of Megan, played by Kirsty Oswald. This apparently perfect couple, observed daily by Rachel on her commute, turn out to be something very different. In this era of social media overload, it is reassuring to see a psychological thriller which questions the notion that everyone else’s life is more glamorous, more interesting and more desirable than one's own, and this is a play that certainly makes us reconsider idealised visions of perfection.

With strong performances, tense plot twists and turns, and an increasingly dark story line, this is most definitely a train worth catching.

For tickets go to:

Pictured: Samantha Womack (Rachel) and Adam Jackson Smith (Tom) in The Girl on the Train

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