The Girl on The Train has been adapted for theatre from the best-selling book of the same name by Paula Hawkins. I’ve read the book and loved it and also seen the film adaptation, so I was excited to compare the play too.
The story focuses on Rachel, a drunk who has split up from her husband and is struggling to get over it. When a woman goes missing from a house a couple of doors down from her ex husband on the same night Rachel blacked out and can’t remember where she was, she sets out on a mission to put the pieces together and discover what truly happened that night.
Samantha Womack was brilliant as Rachel. She captured the character really well, portraying her as an alcoholic who knows that something is wrong and won’t stop until she’s discovered the truth. It was as if the character had come straight from the pages on to the stage. Going through Rachel’s journey with her you could really feel her confusion and determination and Samantha Womack did a spectacular job.
The music, interchanging sets and innovative effects add another level of suspense to a story that already has you fully invested in finding out what happened. Even adding smoke in the second half to add to the tense atmosphere. It was fittingly dark and spooky in places setting the perfect tone for the psychological thriller. The supporting cast all do brilliantly with Adam Jackson-Smith playing Tom, Rachels ex, Oliver Farnworth as Scott Hipwell and Kirsty Oswald playing Megan in the flashback scenes.
One thing I would of liked was a bit more train action. The way the train was projected and created was a good bit of stage work but considering the whole story revolves around Rachel’s journey to work on a train and what she can see from the window, you only saw the train a couple of times throughout the play. I do understand that it must be hard to incorporate that into a play, but I feel like that side of the story ended up a bit lost. From her train window Rachel sees the same couple, Scott and Megan, that she makes up names for and invests her time in creating a perfect world for them and I don’t think the play really captured the significance of this very well.
On the whole though it was a great play and Samantha Womack was the star of the show with a perfect performance of Rachel.