Based on the novel by Paula Hawkins, and adapted for the stage by Rachel Wagstaff and Duncan Abel, the cinematic storyline demands rapid scene changes and swift switches in the time frame.
The simple but effective design from James Cotterill ensures this is achieved with ease. The resulting production is both strong and engaging throughout.
Samantha Womack is Rachel Watson who longs for a different life. Whilst on her daily commute she watches a “perfect couple” apparently in love. However not everything is what it appears to be.
When Rachel learns that the woman she’s been secretly watching, Megan, has suddenly disappeared, she finds herself as a witness and even a suspect in a plot that twists and turns with great style.
This is a good adaptation. Samantha Womack as Rachel is a good central performance. A lonely lost figure damaged through various circumstances in her life but adamant for the truth about Megan (Kirsty Oswald) the picture perfect wife to Scott (Oliver Farnworth).
We also meet her ex-husband Tom (Adam Jackson-Smith) and his new wife Anna (Lowenna Melrose), whilst D.I. Gaskill (John Dougall) provides the humour.
Across the company the characters are well defined due to the good script and direction from Anthony Banks.
The pace is slick and the reveal is handled well. The use of projection, sound effect, lighting and darkness ensures the tension remains throughout.
The underlying theme of loneliness and constructing realities for other people is never far from the surface.
Social media can lead us to imagine others have a more perfect life however, not everything is ever what it seems.
This is a good play, full of the skill of the novel and well worth a visit.
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Reviewer: Petra Schofield
The Girl on the Train, based on the best-selling novel by Paula Hawkins and DreamWorks Film, adapted by Rachel Wagstaff and Duncan Abel and directed by Anthony Banks, is showing at the Theatre Royal in Bath until Saturday 13th April 2019.
For more information, and tickets, visit the Theatre Royal website.