Monday, 28 July 2014

THE GHOST TRAIN at Nottingham Theatre Royal

As part of the Colin McIntyre Classic Thriller Season, this is the first of four plays in this year's season and it's great to see them back at the Nottingham Theatre Royal again.

"The Ghost Train" written by Arnold Ridley, and first performed back in 1925, is the story of the mysterious ghostly train which, when it appears, brings sure death to all who lay eyes on it. The story, as told by Saul Hodgkin (Adrian Lloyd-James), the station  master at Fal Vale Station,tells of how years ago there was a train crash and the driver still comes back to haunt anybody who happens to be present at the station at midnight, and tonight is the night the train is due to roll by.

It also just happens to be the night that a group of travellers happen to be stranded at the station after Teddie Deacon pulls the emergency cord after he loses his hat on the train. Is it just coincidence or was there some other reason why it happens to be this very night that the mixed group of travellers become stranded at the haunted station? And where does the mysterious Julia Price, in her strange costume, and her two companions fit in to the whole proceedings?

Being a regular "Thriller season" attendee, I know that the quality of these thrillers are of the highest and the cast always put on a great show. There's a lot of comedy courtesy of Andrew Ryan who plays Teddie Deacon, the reason they have all ended up at the station in the middle of the night. The remainder of the cast, in line with Andrew. all ham it up in this 1920's thriller and this is what we have come to expect from them, and what makes their plays such an absolute joy to see.

The set, sound and lighting design all add to create a wonderfully eerie atmosphere, so a pat on the back to Geoff Gilder, Dave Gilbrook and Michael Donoghue respectively for their input, because it's not just down to the actors you know!

When you think that all of the actors involved in performing the four plays in this year's season, excel in the art of repertory theatre, i.e. performing one play while rehearsing the following week's play at the same time. this only adds to the awe you have for them and shows how hard working they all are. Let's face it, it's difficult enough to rehearse and perform one play without having four plays in succession to rehearse and perform in the same amount of weeks.

If you like a really super thriller with a good dollop of spiffing comedy, with a few bits that will make you jump in your seats, then "The Ghost Train" is one play you do not want to miss.

"The Ghost Train" is steaming in at the Theatre Royal until it's departure on Saturday 2 August 2014

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