If there was one thing, I was looking forward to this year at the Theatre Royal Brighton, it was The Girl on the Train the play which let me tell you did not disappoint!
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The play is based on the 2015 psychological thriller novel by Zimbabwe-born British author Paula Hawkins of the same name, which I absolutely loved! I read it back in 2015 while away on holiday and literally couldn’t put it down!
The film followed in 2016, again the same name, but where the book was set in Britain, the movie was set in America which I was a little gutted about, but to be honest I love both the book and film! FYI the play is more like the book, set in the UK.
Much like another one of my fave books/films Gone Girl, the story of The Girl on the Train is told from the point of view of three women: Rachel, Anna, and Megan.
What’s it about?
Rachel is a 32-year-old alcoholic, who has recently lost her job and is still not over the fact her marriage to Tom broke down several years prior, due to him running off with another women!
Anna . . . the other women, and who Tom left Rachel for, is now married to Tom and they have a baby, which is the one thing Rachel wanted so desperately when she and Tom were married, but unfortunately never happened.
Megan is the nanny, she helps to look after Anna and Toms child, and Megan along with her husband Scott are the seemingly perfect couple, in which Rachel sees from the window of her train during her pointless commutes to London.
However, one day, Rachel witnesses something shocking unfold on the terrace of Megan and Scott’s home. Rachel tells the police what she thinks she saw after learning that Megan is now missing and feared dead, but who is going to believe an alcoholic who doesn’t remember her own actions!
Rachel decides to take the investigation into her own hands to find out who is responsible for the disappearance of Megan! Was it Tom? Was it Anna? Or was in Rachel herself?
You obviously need to see the play to find out!
Samantha Womack was sensational as Rachel! Most people will probably remember Womack as Ronnie Mitchell in EastEnders, in which she had some truly gritty story lines, so this role was perfect for her! It’s hard not to compare her to Emily Blunt who played Rachel in the US based film, but Womack’s performance was phenomenal, in keeping with the book a lot more than the film did.
Kirsty Oswald who plays Megan has a particular scene, which is word heavy but extremely moving and a truly fantastic scene. She really makes you feel for her, and how Megan changes throughout the play is so subtle but noticeable, starting out in a red dress as care free Megan, ending with the dress having turned black when her life is turned upside down.
As per the book and film, the role of Anna played by Lowenna Melrose is not a huge role, but I liked how Melrose made the character quite sassy, with is a theme throughout the play with a few characters, and a few laughs along the way.
Scott is played by Coronation Street’s Oliver Farnworth, the role of Scott is a lot more prominent in the play compared to the film, but it really worked. The relationship Farnsworth and Womack as Scott and Rachel had on stage was fantastic, so raw and believable, 2 very desperate people trying to find answers.
D.I. Gaskill was played by John Dougall, who provided most of the funnies throughout the play, and Naeem Hayat plays the role of Kamal Abdic, Megan’s therapist who plays a vital role in the story of where and why Megan may have gone missing.
I loved how basic the set was! No train carriage, it really wasn’t needed! The way they made the train come to live with lights, sounds and holograms really added to the effect of the show! Staging, props and costume were excellent (although I still don’t know what Scott was wearing sliders during the whole play LOL)
If you’re a fan of Paula Hawkins, or the book/film of The Girl on the Train, you really need to see this! Hawkins is a fantastic writer, I have since read Into the Water which again I couldn’t put down, and hope that this is also adapted into some kind of movie or TV series in the future.
Do NOT miss your change to see The Girl on the Train during its UK tour. It’s showing at the Theatre Royal Brighton until Saturday 22nd June 2019. Shows every evening at 7.45pm, and a matinee shows Thursday & Saturday at 2.30pm. Click HERE to book you ticket and let me know what you think of it! I have already made 4 of my friends book tickets due to how excited I got while telling them what it was like!
Photos by Manuel Harlan