Lets begin this by saying I found out I was going to see this play day of, I was at work and I got a text saying “We were given tickets for Girl On The Train if you’re interested in reviewing it” and that brought up two problems:
I have no time to go home and I’m in a Wetherspoon uniform
I have no one to go with
So of course I said yeah (then got in trouble for texting at work). Straight out of work and down to Primark to grab literally any clothes that aren’t covered in fryer grease while I mass text everyone in my contacts to find someone to go with and off I head to the Grand Opera House.
Now, I’d consider myself an avid theatre goer, I’m in the Grand Opera House at least once a month and whilst it is an unbelievably beautiful building, I’ve gotten used to the view, my friend on the other hand hasn’t been to the theatre since he was a kid and he was stunned by just how amazing it all was.
We took our seats and on the stage already was the moving train set, a beautiful visual effect to look at while we excitedly jabber in anticipation for the play to begin. Then the lights went down and Samantha Womack was on stage and all eyes were on her.
Her performance as Rachel was stunning. Rachel is a drunk with a failed marriage who gets herself involved in this mystery involving a girl she sees from the train each day on her way to a job she’s already been fired from. She sees this girl’s life as a symbol of perfection and when she goes missing Rachel has to face up to the fact that maybe that perfection doesn’t exist.
Womack brings every aspect of Rachel to life, her vulnerability, her humour. Every line was delivered with such professional ease dragging us head first into the dangerous world of the play. Even when she wasn’t speaking her movements and facial expressions made everything feel so real, told the audience exactly how she felt in that moment, created tension and had everyone on the edge of their seat, waiting to see what Rachel would do next.
Tom, played wonderfully by Adam Jackson-Smith, is Rachel’s ex husband. Rachel is still desperately attached to him and his “perfect life” with his new partner Anna (Lowenna Melrose) and their child as she herself was never able to conceive. Adam Jackson-Smith was utterly brilliant. A perfect gentleman one moment, terrifying the next. Making you doubt your own thoughts throughout the murder mystery. There was one quiet, dramatic moment when he was giving the performance of a lifetime and of course because this is the 21st century and people over 50 don’t know how to put their phone on silent, there was a happy little jingle from the audience for like a minute and a half. He didn’t let this break the tension though, after a slightly longer than intended dramatic pause in hopes that the phone would stop, he went on and he made sure that every ounce of our attention was still on him and it was thrilling.
I previously mentioned that my friend, who accompanied me to this play, hasn’t really been to the theatre and during intermission and after the show he couldn’t stop excitedly rambling about literally everything from the breathtaking sets to the amazing visual effects and sound design to the tiny details like colour symbolism and how the doors work. He was like an excited puppy and despite going to the theatre on the regular, I was right there with him, every detail of this production was so perfectly planned and put together to give the best experience possible. There were so many things that had me gasping from start to finish.
I’ve never read the book or seen the movie so I had no Idea what was in store but I certainly wasn’t disappointed. This murder mystery thriller had my heart beating wildly from start to finish and had me thinking over the smaller details for hours after leaving the theatre. If you can, definitely make an effort to go see The Girl On The Train, whether you’re a fan of the book or movie or if you’ve never heard of it at all I can promise you it’s not to be missed.