Wednesday 15 November 2017

“The Ghost Train” by Beeston Players
Round Hill School, Beeston.
A young man accidentally strands six passengers at a small Cornish wayside station. Despite the pyschic stationmaster's weird stories of a ghost train, they decide to stay the night in the waiting room. Soon they regret this decision as ghostly and not so ghostly apparitions materialise,but one of the stranded guests isn't quite who they seem!
Written by Arnold Ridley, who was better known as his role as Private Godfrey in the original BBC's sit com "Dad's Army". he was though a successful playwright with this play being his most famous.
Alistair Hudson plays Saul Hodgkin, the station master who reveals the ghostly tales of the spectral train and the station's annual visitations who bring on fateful consequences at the Cornish railway. Alistair has great projection and a real stage presence.
Ian Greatorex and Sarah Nicholson play husband and wife Richard & Elsie Winthrop who have a few marital issues to start with.
Rob Jackson, who just has to appear on stage to make me smile, plays it serious this time around as newly wed Charles Murdock. His wife, Peggy Murdock is played by Sarah Murray.
Miss Bourne, one of my favourite characters in this play, is played with attitude, which melts into drunkenness by Barbara Barton .
Gary Frost plays Teddie Deakin, the young man who is to blame for the stranded group. Gary brings the comedy element to this play with a lovely gentle hooray Henry style of humour, which was always going to be annoying to the rest of the guests.
Nicola Adkin plays Julia Price who seems to be obsessed with the Ghost Train and being there in time for the reincarnations. Why is she so adamant that she needs to be there against the wishes of brother Herbert Price (Tom Jenkins) and Dr John Sterling (Paul Langston).
With the help of one of the guests and policemen Smith and Jackson, played by Steve Rowlinson and Samuel Williams, respectively, we get to the bottom of the spooky spectres and terrifying trains.... or do they?
Great sound effects (Nina Tunnicliff) and lighting (Jill Griffiths and Fiona Maxwell) and a solid set design (Sam Williams and Steve Rowlinson).
Classic 1920's costumes, paired with appropriate hair styling and make up (Maxine Taylor) created that feel for the era.
Produced by Sue Frost and Directed by Debbie Blake. They kept an eerie feel to this show and I'll admit, even though I had seen this play before, I'd forgotten the bit at the end, which made me jump and gave me shivers.
it wasn't perfect but I think part of that may be first night nerves, and now they have got this one under their collective belts, I don't doubt that any hiccups had will be smoothed out for the rest of the run.
“The Ghost Train” can be seen at Round Hill School in Beeston until Saturday 18 November 2017 at 2.30pm as there’s no evening performance on the Saturday.

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