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The Girl on the Train - still keeping the audience guessing

The Girl on the Train. Photo by Peter Weston.

The Girl on the Train, Talisman Theatre and Arts Centre, Monday 17 April to Saturday 22 April 2023.

Review by Ashley Hayward

Having seen the movie and read the book by Paula Hawkins I was intrigued to know how a story concerning a woman who became enamoured by the lives of a couple on whom she spied through the window of the train on her regular commute could possibly be depicted on stage.

The answer was that it was portrayed very imaginatively and effectively through excellent acting, projections, sound effects, atmospheric music, flashbacks and clever lighting changes, under the guidance of Director Sam Harris.

Katie-Anne Ray plays Rachel. Photo by Peter Weston.

Katie-Anne Ray convincingly plays the role of the main character, Rachel. It is not easy to portray a rejected wife, prone to violence, with a serious drink problem and facing eviction, whilst at the same time appearing likeable and occasionally quite humorous.

Rachel is the main suspect in a disappearance case. She is even unsure herself about her involvement and it could well have been the result of a drunken stupor. She is however doggedly determined to get to the truth.

Dan Gough plays the detective investigating the disappearance very sympathetically as he gives Rachel plenty of opportunities to convince him that she shouldn’t be arrested.

There are also very believable performances from the entire cast as the plot moves quickly along and is helped by some slick scene changes.

Alice Scott as Megan. Photo by Peter Weston.

An especially notable performance comes from Alice Scott as Megan the disappearing woman and it includes a flashback to a particularly unpleasant event from her past which is played extremely movingly and sensitively.

This stage adaptation may have lost some of the characters and complications of the original book but the cast do justice to the script and it still stands up as an interesting mystery thriller which touches on sensitive issues and keeps the audience guessing.

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