Tag Archives: Samantha Womack

The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train
★★

Theatre Royal Brighton & UK Tour

The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train

Theatre Royal Brighton

Reviewed – 17th June 2019

★★

 

“the inherently flawed direction and script leaves us feeling a little short changed”

 

The stage adaptation by Rachel Wagstaff and Duncan Abel of Paula Hawkin’s smash-hit novel, The Girl on The Train, screeches into Brighton prior to transferring to the West End. It puts Rachel Watson, played by Samantha Womack, as an unemployed alcoholic who spies into her ex husband Tom’s home from the train and soon finds herself at the centre of a murder investigation. The victim? Her ex-husband’s mistress, Megan.

Rachel, who yearns for a different life is bitterly grieving for the one she has now lost. The plot is seemingly plucked from thin air as out of the blue, ex-husband Tom (Adam Jackson Smith) comes knocking at the door of her cluttered and untidy flat. He is investigating whether she had any involvement in the murder which happened on the evening she turned up at his house, berating his new wife Anna (Lowenna Melrose).

With crime thriller interest at an all time high with smash-hit TV shows like Broadchurch and Line of Duty, the production ultimately lacks genuine research and integrity which is a shame. The inspector tasked with the case incoherently deals with Rachel as a potential suspect and it doesn’t sit well. DI Gaskell, played rather too melodramatically by John Dougall, gives away confidential information and access to murder scenes which confuses. The relationship between suspect and police could be more intelligent, the psychological analysis of interrogation could have been a strong point but again, the poor writing fails miserably in it’s feeble attempt at being somewhat mildly realistic and poetic.

Director Anthony Banks could do more to raise the stakes within each scene, we are watching a murder investigation and so called ‘psychological thriller’ but yet I do not believe the majority of the performances or staging. The clunky transitions between scenes see Womack walk into a focused light for ten seconds or so with no real purpose except for masking a scene change and ultimately drops the rare bit of energy that is created in the scene before. Womack has a big task in carrying The Girl On The Train as Rachel is centre of every scene but unlike in the novel and film, Rachel lacks real character depth and likeability. I feel for Womack as I know she has the ability to carry a good script, but she is desperately underserved by the writers but supported by the rest of the cast (Oliver Farnworth, Naeem Hayat, Matt Concannon and Phillipa Flynn). One redeeming performance is Kirsty Oswald as Megan, her brief monologues are complex and performed with a real level of emotion and truth.

The Girl On The Train is a clumsy and poorly directed adaptation of a story which is somewhat of a literature phenomenon. Despite it’s stunning design by James Cotterill and admirable ambition, the inherently flawed direction and script leaves us feeling a little short changed.

 

Reviewed by Nathan Collins

Photography by Manuel Harlan

 


The Girl on the Train

Theatre Royal Brighton until 22nd June then UK tour continues

 

Previously reviewed at this venue:
This is Elvis | ★★★ | July 2018
Salad Days | ★★★ | September 2018
Rocky Horror Show | ★★★★ | December 2018
Benidorm Live! | ★★★★ | February 2019
Noughts And Crosses | ★★ | March 2019
Rotterdam | ★★★★ | April 2019

 

Click here to see more of our latest reviews on thespyinthestalls.com

 

Addams Family – Rehearsals

Rehearsals are well under way for the UK & Ireland premiere of THE ADDAMS FAMILY, starring Samantha Womack as Morticia Addams, Les Dennis as Uncle Fester, Carrie Hope Fletcher as Wednesday Addams, Cameron Blakely as Gomez Addams, Valda Aviks as Grandma Addams, Charlotte Page as Alice Beineke, Dale Rapley as Mal Beineke, Grant McIntyre as Pugsley Addams, Dickon Gough as Lurch and Oliver Ormson as Lucas Beineke.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY will open at the Festival Theatre, Edinburgh on 20 April where it will run until 29 April before embarking on a UK & Ireland tour until 4 November 2017.

Directed by Matthew White, THE ADDAMS FAMILY is a musical comedy, with book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, the creators of multi award-winning Jersey Boys, and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, based on the characters created by Charles Addams.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY is produced by Aria Entertainment and Music & Lyrics Limited, in association with the Festival Theatre Edinburgh, and is presented through special arrangement with Theatrical Rights Worldwide.

 

 www.TheAddamsFamily.co.uk 

 

Rehearsal Photography by Craig Sugden

2017 TOUR SCHEDULE

 

20-29 April 2017 Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
www.edtheatres.com 0131 529 6000

9-13 May 2017 Royal & Derngate, Northampton
www.royalandderngate.co.uk 01604 624811

16-20 May 2017 New Wimbledon Theatre
www.atgtickets.com/venues/new-wimbledon-theatre 0844 871 7646

23-27 May 2017 Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
www.marlowetheatre.com 01227 787787

30 May – 3 June 2017 Cliffs Pavilion, Southend
www.southendtheatres.org.uk 01702 351 135

6-10 June 2017 Birmingham Hippodrome www.birminghamhippodrome.com 0844 338 5000

13-17 June 2017 Theatre Royal, Bath
www.theatreroyal.org.uk 01225 448844

20-24 June 2017 Hall for Cornwall, Truro
www.hallforcornwall.co.uk 01872 262466

27 June – 1 July 2017 Nottingham Theatre Royal
www.trch.co.uk 0115 989 5555

4-8 July 2017 The Alhambra Theatre, Bradford
www.bradford-theatres.co.uk 01274 432000

18 – 29 July 2017 Mayflower Theatre, Southampton
www.mayflower.org.uk 02380 711811

1-12 August 2017 Cardiff, Wales Millennium Centre
www.wmc.org.uk 029 2063 6464

15-26 August 2017 Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin
www.bordgaisenergytheatre.ie 0844 847 2455

29 August – 9 September 2017 The Lowry, Salford
www.thelowry.com 0843 208 6000

12-16 September 2017 Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield
www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk 0114 249 6000

19-23 September 2017 Bristol Hippodrome
www.atgtickets.com/venues/bristol-hippodrome 0844 871 3012

26-30 September 2017 New Victoria Theatre, Woking www.atgtickets.com/venues/new-victoria-theatre 0844 871 7645

3-7 October 2017 Grand Opera House, Belfast
www.roh.org.uk 028 9024 1919

10-14 October 2017 Glasgow King’s Theatre
www.atgtickets.com/venues/kings-theatre 0844 871 7648

17-21 October 2017 Wolverhampton Grand
www.grandtheatre.co.uk 01902 429 212

24-28 October 2017 Milton Keynes Theatre
www.atgtickets.com/venues/milton-keynes-theatre 0844 871 7652

31 October – 4 November 2017 Orchard Theatre, Dartford
www.orchardtheatre.co.uk 01322 220000