Matthew Jameson Review’s The Girl On The Train.
Fear, confusion and tension hit the West Yorkshire Playhouse stage in the thrilling ride that is The Girl on the Train. Adapted from the bestselling novel by Paula Hawkins we have already seen the film version staring Emily Blunt of this world-wide phenomenon and now it’s here right in front of you. Being a massive fan of the book and film, I was hugely excited to witness the transformation to stage and how the complexity of the narrative would unfold before my eyes.
Rachel (Jill Halfpenny) is lonely and obsessed with revisiting her old home with former husband Tom (Adam Best) whilst drinking heavily and only remembering fragments of conversations and actions. Tom’s new wife Anna (Sarah Ovens) worries for the safety of their new born child and what length Rachel will go to. As they seem to be fighting a losing battle, the neighbour Megan (Florence Hall) disappears and it appears Rachel could have been the last person to see her, but can she remember? As the story unfolds Rachel befriends Scott (Thoe Ogundipe) Megan’s husband in an attempt to find out the truth, only to be seen by D.I. Gaskill (Colin Tierney) as prime suspect.
With twists and turns galore this production does not disappoint at all and encapsulates the mental anguish and breakdown of Rachel as she desperately seeks the truth from within herself. Jill Halfpenny commands the stage, pulling on every emotion and draws us right in to the moment with her, we feel the frustration tearing her apart. The supporting cast all create the reality we see in front of us, holding the narrative together and showing the true darker side of human nature. The set is also compelling, giving the interpretation of being trapped inside 4 walls, very clever and claustrophobic for the characters which works brilliantly. A triumph of theatre that will have you at the edge of your seat, if you’ve not familiar with the story, can you guess who done it?