Tense and stylish thriller finds a perfect platform at the Talisman - The Leamington Observer

Tense and stylish thriller finds a perfect platform at the Talisman

Leamington Editorial 18th Apr, 2023 Updated: 18th Apr, 2023   0

The Girl on the Train

Kenilworth Talisman Theatre


A mystery trip through the unreliable memory of a potential murder witness comes to the Talisman, stopping along the way at domestic violence, relationship remorse and the terrible cost of addiction.


With such a heavy freight on board it could all so easily get weighed down but this excellent production steams on for a truly first class experience.


The Girl on the Train has already sold hugely as a book and impressed as a film. Now it’s back adapted for the small stage and despite the downsizing in scale and budget, it’s a production that really pulls you in.


Sam Harris’s show is well-oiled and running smoothly throughout. In a fast-moving thriller like this there’s no room for delay and so it’s a joy to report slick, imaginative scene changes, classy touches throughout and a lovely attention to detail.


Holding the whole thing together, in sharp contrast to the chaos of her character’s life, is an excellent performance from Katie-Anne Ray combining hopeless alcoholism with a feisty determination and moments of sparkling humour.


Dan Gough as the investigating detective shines throughout and there are valuable contributions from Ben Wellicome as a psychiatrist and indeed the full company chipping in with a vast array of other characters.


On the creative side James Harris’s soundtrack plays throughout and adds tension which films habitually possess but which can easily be found lacking on stage. Nice touches like the constantly shifting lighting and the station board style time clock all add to a production that looks, and is, well thought out.


The pace is kept up all the way and will improve as the run gathers speed. The script makes heavy use of incomplete lines – perhaps excessive at times – but the cast work well to ensure we’re never derailed by unnecessary pauses.


As a side note, all those mentioned above, and more, are worthy of note in a splendid, highly-polished production. The fact that they get a mention by name is, however down to the work of the reviewer, the theatre choosing to direct all ponderings about who we’re watching to its website.


With a pair of tickets approaching the £30 mark it shouldn’t be beyond expectation to be given a cast list. Saving money and saving paper has meant the days of the full programme may understandably be over, but not putting names to those who have worked so hard is a stop too far down a very unwelcome branch line. Let’s hope normal service can be resumed.



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