REVIEW | The Girl On The Train.

6 March 2019 60 Rutland St, Leicester LE1 1SB, UK


The Girl on the Train
Curve Theatre, Leicester
★★

I am one of over twenty million who brought the novel The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins when it was released in 2016, although it wasn't until a year later that I was gripped by the phenomenon. In fact, I can't remember any of my friends who didn't discuss this thriller and the play adaption will keep you guessing until the final moment, just as much as the book does. 

The story is centred around Rachel (Samantha Womack) whose only escape is the perfect couple she watches from the train window every day, happy and in love. Something which she doesn't have in her life but the couple she sees isn't even half of their story. It's not until Rachel learns that the woman she has secretly watching suddenly disappears and she is thrust into becoming a witness and even a suspect in the disappearance. The story is thrilling and Rachel encounters bigger revelations that she could have ever anticipated for herself and her own past plays its part. 

Taking on the role of Rachel is Samantha Womack. Known for her previous credits in Eastenders and The Addams Family, Womack is really quite the protagonist in this production.  Her character has little self-esteem and an employed drunk who is described in the book as someone with an "overactive imagination". We only really see one distinct side to her character; a drunk Rachel is angry, violent and destructive who then blacks out and doesn't remember what she does. Samantha Womack is excellent as sustaining this behaviour from her character right through the entire production. 





Out of a cast of 9, 7 of them are intertwined into this story and nobody more unpredictable to the plot than Rachel's husband Scott Hipwell, played by Adam Jackson-Smith. Although he seems like the guy who has it all sussed, he is definitely one to keep your eye on as part of the story. His selfish and manipulative ways are perfectly played out by Jackson-Smith who really plays the two-sided character well.

The lighting has been excellently curated by Jack Knowles to create the obscure atmosphere and to develop the intensity of the story from the beginning. Helped by the gorgeous haunting composition and sound design from Ben and Max Ringham you feel like you are witnessing the story for the first time whilst it unravels.

The story is quite an intense affair but there are definitely moments when the audience laughed at the light humour in the script.

Although the movie adaption in 2016 was an absolute flop the play has definitely taken the play right back to its writer's routes to create a fantastic night at the theatre. The first class thriller play is full of dramatic twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat!

The Girl on the Train is performing at Curve Theatre until 9 March. It's embarking on a fantastic UK Tour, find out more here

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