Touring – reviewed at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton
If you missed the phenomenon of Paula Hawkins’ best-selling novel in 2015, you now have the perfect opportunity to jump on the band wagon with this new thrilling play adaptation of The Girl on the Train.
A good old-fashioned ‘whodunnit’ with a contemporary modern twist, is a great reason to get out and support your local theatre and they don’t come better than this. Whilst the film, for me, disappointed this runs much closer to the book.
An exploration into the life we dream of, for if we were to believe all social media isn’t everyone having a better time than us? The Girl on the Train’s pivotal character imagine’s lives for a couple she passes on her daily commute, until one day she spots something which changes everything.
Samantha Womack (Rachel Watson) shows us what a truly terrific actor she is. The intensity and roundness of her characterisation means that we feel her every emotion, as she takes us on a journey to find out what really happened to Megan Hipwell (Kirsty Oswald). Adam Jackson-Smith, who plays ex-husband Tom, convinces us that whilst he is a philanderer he is decent, and makes you believe that he still cares for his ex.
The pain of Oliver Farnworth’s role of husband Scott Hipwell, as we discover his wife’s past and watch how he deals with her disappearance, is palpable at times. While Kirsty Oswald bodes a haunting figure in her presence as the story unravels. Other noteworthy performances by Lowena Melrose as Anna Watson, Naeem Hayat (Kamal Abdic) and DI Gaskell played by John Dougall.
I found the actors and play totally gripping, I fell into a spell of wanting to know more all the time and felt fully satisfied by the characterisation. The direction by Anthony Banks was spot on and the set by James Cotterill imaginative and innovative. This production is well worth seeing, not only for its masterclass in acting, but also for its thrilling entertainment value.
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