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Stage Dragon Review: Girl On A Train At The Yvonne Arnaud

Published on: 9 Jul, 2019
Updated on: 9 Jul, 2019

By Tricia Marcotti

At the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre this week is the simply riveting play The Girl on the Train.

Based on the novel by Paula Hawkins, it has been adapted by Rachel Wagstaff and Duncan Abel into an edge of your seat night out!

This is your chance to see the play prior to it going to the West End later in July before it then carries on with its round Britain tour later in August.

Samantha Womack stars as Rachel Watson, a divorcee, who passes her former home daily on the train to and from work. Samantha is rarely off the stage, but not once did she falter in her performance. Her voice came across strongly, her lines were delivered without hesitation, and she looked the part too!

Rachel, played by Samantha Womack, looking out the train window Girl On A Train at The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre.

As Rachel looks out the window of the train, she can’t help noticing a young couple so much in love. Played by Oliver Farnworth and Kirsty Oswald, Scott and Megan remind Rachel of her ex-husband, Tom (Adam Jackson-Smith) and how they too had been in love once. But now they were divorced and Tom had married Anna (Lowenna Melrose), who had recently given birth to daughter (heard, but largely unseen!)

Rachel talking to ex-husband Tom, played by Adam Jackson-Smith, regarding events in Girl On A Train at The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre. Photos by Manuel Harlan.

But as we all know, life does not always go smoothly, and Rachel’s life goes into a tailspin when she hears that Megan is missing. The plot twists and turns, but finally all is revealed.

There is an interval – but – I didn’t want the play to stop. I wanted to find out what was going on. Where is Megan? The police in the form of DI Gaskill (John Dougall) investigate, and slowly but surely the facts of the case are uncovered.

The set is a marvel of engineering, allowing for eight different venues to be displayed. Each change was handled most adroitly, enabling the audience to see the characters in their own environment. The sound effects were also handled in a sympathetic manner to their timing in the play.

But the most effective part of the set was the train! Well, train windows really, but they greeted the audience as the auditorium was filling and appeared and disappeared throughout the play. I hesitate to say “very professionally done”, but the set has been very well thought out by James Cotterill and Jack Knowles.

All of the cast have been well drilled in their roles by the director, Anthony Banks, as I felt that each fitted into their character like it was a second skin.

From listening to the other audience members last night, I feel they too enjoyed the play as much as I did, as a standing ovation was given to the cast at the end!

The Girl on the Train is at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre through to Saturday, July 13. For tickets, contact the box office online by clicking here or by telephone on 01483 440000.

Five stars. Guildford, you are in for a treat!

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test One Response to Stage Dragon Review: Girl On A Train At The Yvonne Arnaud

  1. Valerie Thompson Reply

    July 10, 2019 at 8:57 am

    Excellent play, the best we have seen in recent months. All the actors were well matched and, as the review says, the sets were very effective. A really good evening out.

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