The 2019 tour of The Lady Vanishes, produced by Bill Kenwright

‘Proves that classic mysteries never go out of fashion’: THE LADY VANISHES – Touring

In Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews, Scotland, Ticket recommendations, Touring by Lauren HumphreysLeave a Comment

Touring – reviewed at Theatre Royal Glasgow

Relatively obscure British crime writer Ethel Lina White’s greatest legacy is her 1936 novel, The Wheel Spins – two years after publication, Alfred Hitchcock directed the film The Lady Vanishes, widely regarded as one of British cinema’s greatest works, based on her book. Through the decades, popular adaptations have appeared both on TV and film. This time it’s the turn of the Classic Thriller Theatre Company who bring the timeless tale to the stage.

It’s Austria, 1938 and Nazism is on the rise. Socialite Iris Henderson (Lorna Fitzgerald) is travelling back to London to marry, more for her fiancé’s title than for love. Before climbing aboard the crowded and already delayed train home, she receives an accidental blow to the head. She’s helped aboard by kindly, former governess Miss Froy (Juliet Mills) and the pair strike up a conversation on board, but Iris soon falls asleep. On wakening, Iris finds Miss Froy has disappeared and all her fellow travellers deny ever having seen her. She enlists the help of engineer and part-time musicologist Max (played by understudy James Boswell when I saw it) to get to the bottom of the mystery of the vanishing lady.

With a cast of curious characters including two cricket-loving Brits (stage veterans Robert Duncan and Ben Nealon), a suspicious Austrian doctor (Maxwell Caulfield), an Italian magician (Mark Carlisle), a stuck-up London lawyer and his mistress (Philip Lowrie and Elizabeth Payne), a Nazi officer (Joe Reisig) and a nun (Natalie Law), The Lady Vanishes mines every trope of the golden age of crime and proves that classic mysteries never go out of fashion.

From the opening scenes on the station platform in Austria, through the train journey, back home to Blighty, Morgan Large’s set (coupled with Charlie Morgan Jones’ lighting) manages to conjure up the feel of Hitchcock’s black and white masterpiece. The 13-strong cast are solid, with understudy Boswell managing to shine brightest.

This is a well-constructed production, that, though undemanding, provides a thoroughly entertaining, escapist evening of entertainment.

Image: Paul Coltas

This review was originally written for The Reviews Hub

 

‘Proves that classic mysteries never go out of fashion’: new Mate @LaurenHumphreyz recently caught @BKL_Productions tour of #TheLadyVanishes, the 1930s thriller immortalised by #AlfredHitchcock’s film

Lauren Humphreys on RssLauren Humphreys on Twitter
Lauren Humphreys
As well as blogging at Glasgow Theatre Blog, Lauren Humphreys is the Scotland Editor at The Reviews Hub (including its Edinburgh Festival Fringe Editor), and has written for Time Out, Groupon City Guide, TV Bomb, Broadway Baby, One Stop Arts and Stay.com as well as contributing to many European travel guides on culture in Scotland’s biggest city. Glasgow Theatre Blog has been voted the No.1 theatre blog in the UK in the Cision Media Rankings, in the Lastminute.com Top Ten and has never been out of the Vuelio Top Ten UK Theatre Blogs since its inception.

Lauren has also been the lucky recipient of the Oran Mor, A Play, a Pie and a Pint Critics Circle prize… twice. During the Commonwealth Games in 2014, she was one of 14 bloggers from around the Commonwealth chosen to be part of the official blog “Team 14”, writing about the cultural impact of the games. She teaches a workshop on theatre blogging as part of Glasgow's Tron Theatre Ambassadors programme, for students aged 15-18, encouraging the next generation of arts critics.
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Lauren Humphreys on RssLauren Humphreys on Twitter
Lauren Humphreys
As well as blogging at Glasgow Theatre Blog, Lauren Humphreys is the Scotland Editor at The Reviews Hub (including its Edinburgh Festival Fringe Editor), and has written for Time Out, Groupon City Guide, TV Bomb, Broadway Baby, One Stop Arts and Stay.com as well as contributing to many European travel guides on culture in Scotland’s biggest city. Glasgow Theatre Blog has been voted the No.1 theatre blog in the UK in the Cision Media Rankings, in the Lastminute.com Top Ten and has never been out of the Vuelio Top Ten UK Theatre Blogs since its inception.

Lauren has also been the lucky recipient of the Oran Mor, A Play, a Pie and a Pint Critics Circle prize… twice. During the Commonwealth Games in 2014, she was one of 14 bloggers from around the Commonwealth chosen to be part of the official blog “Team 14”, writing about the cultural impact of the games. She teaches a workshop on theatre blogging as part of Glasgow's Tron Theatre Ambassadors programme, for students aged 15-18, encouraging the next generation of arts critics.

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