Subscribe      List an Event or Business      Invite a Writer      Write for WN      Writers      Other Locations

The Girl On The Train at Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham - Review

Home > Birmingham > Indoor | Performing Arts | Shows | Theatre | Theatre Reviews
by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
Event: -
Play is on the right tracks
The Girl On The Train has been travelling around the UK since January, stopping off at theatres to deliver a thrilling psychological mystery. This week the destination was Birmingham's Alexandra Theatre.

The Girl On The Train, Samantha Womack, Alexandra Theatre Birmingham, Theatre Review, Oliver Farnworth, Paula Hawkins
Intriguing: Oliver Farnworth and Samantha Womack (pic: Manuel Harlan)


Adapted from Paula Hawkins' smash hit 2015 novel and the 2016 Hollywood film starring Emily Blunt, it's an intriguing couple of hours, with a stand-out performance by Samantha Womack. The former Eastenders star makes the role of alcohol-fuelled Rachel Watson - the girl on the train - her own, injecting some welcome humour that was missing in the film version.

The Girl On The Train, Samantha Womack, Alexandra Theatre Birmingham, Theatre Review, Oliver Farnworth, Paula Hawkins
Emotional: Samantha Womack and Adam Jackson-Smith (pic: Manuel Harlan)


Rachel is a regular passenger on a train that passes the house she once shared with husband Tom (Adam Jackson-Smith). Following their divorce, Tom now lives there with new wife, Anna (Phillipa Flynn), but it is their neighbours that particularly intrigue Rachel. She looks forward to seeing Megan Hipwell (Kirsty Oswald) and her husband, Scott (Oliver Farnworth), from the train, believing they have the perfect life. She is shocked when she sees Megan in the arms of another man on the terrace of their house - and then hears that she has disappeared. It turns into an Agatha Christie-style mystery, with everyone suspected of Megan's abduction.

The Girl On The Train, Samantha Womack, Alexandra Theatre Birmingham, Theatre Review, Oliver Farnworth, Paula Hawkins
Mystery: Oliver Farnworth and Samantha Womack (pic: Manuel Harlan)


Samantha Womack is rarely off stage and effortlessly takes the audience with her on the journey as she investigates the circumstances around Megan's disappearance.The supporting cast have to work hard to match Womack's contribution. Oliver Farnworth, best known as Andy Carver in Coronation Street, is solid as Megan's husband, although he doesn't appear overly concerned about her absence. Adam Jackson-Smith enjoys some emotional scenes with Womack, while Kirsty Oswald is convincing as the story flashes back to events leading to her disappearance. John Dougall as the police detective DI Gaskill has some humorous interplay with Womack, as does Naeem Hayat, as the therapist Kamal Abdic, when he is being quizzed by Rachel.

The Girl On The Train, Samantha Womack, Alexandra Theatre Birmingham, Theatre Review, Oliver Farnworth, Paula Hawkins
Flashback: Naeem Hayat and Kirsty Oswald (pic: Manuel Harlan)


The challenge of presenting the story on stage is dealt with imaginatively. Scene changes are slick and the use of projected images to suggest the movement of the train works well. Creative lighting makes the flashback scenes coherent, while clever sound effects add to the atmosphere, although at times they did drown out some of the dialogue.

The Girl On The Train continues at Birmingham's Alexandra Theatre until August 31. It can also be seen at Malvern's Festival Theatre, October 21 - 26, 2019.

The Girl On The Train, Samantha Womack, Alexandra Theatre Birmingham, Theatre Review, Oliver Farnworth, Paula Hawkins
Venue: Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham
Help us improve  Click here if you liked this article  41
Share: email  facebook  twitter
Why? First the book, then the movie, now the play
When: Until August 31, 2019
Phone: 0844 871 7615
Where: Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham
Cost: From 13
Your Comment
I loved the book and this sounds really good especially Samantha Womack's performance. Will have to try and catch it on the tour.
by Alison Brinkworth (score: 2|282) 45 days ago
Foodi Photoh Classie
Top Events
Popular Articles
Categories
Lists
Questions