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The Ghost Train, Royal Exchange, Review

Home > Manchester > Theatre | Theatre Reviews
by David Keyworth (subscribe)
I’m a freelance journalist and published poet, based in Manchester. https://uk.linkedin.com/pub/david-keyworth/49/b3a/b83
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Laughter Tracks
The passengers in The Ghost Train would have a strong case for compensation. Not only do they miss their connecting service but they also have to spend the night in a cold waiting room, listening out for supernatural arrivals.
Ghost Train Royal Exchange Manchester
Will Merrick as Charles, Lena Kaur as Peggy, Amanda Hadingue as Julia, Ayesha Antoine as Elsie and Sam Alexander as Richard. Photo Jonathan Keenan.


Arthur Ridley (famed for playing Private Charles Godfrey in Dad's Army) wrote his comedy thriller in 1925 and it's very much a play of its time. However, its ingenuity and desire to entertain mean it is still appealing 90 years later. It doesn't pretend to be Chekhov but its theme of people randomly thrown together, who must find a way of getting along together, is timeless.
Ghost Train Royal Exchange
Amanda Hadingue as Julia Price Photo Jonathan Keenan.

The Ghost Train is performed by Told by an Idiot. The company's ensemble playing is impressive, with each actor allowing the others to dominate the scene when it is their turn.

Special mention must go to the props department and designers. We get everything from a small suitcase which roams about the stage, apparently with a mind of its own, to an underwater scene conjured up on a dry stage.
Ghost Train Royal Exchange
Will Merrick as Charles Murdock. Photo Jonathan Keenan.

Jackson, the talkative parrot (Joanna Holden) makes a memorable entrance and gives us an animated resume at the start of the second half.

The first half is perhaps too long, with the actors working hard to maintain the energy levels. The much shorter second half brings some wonderfully delivered revelations.

If you're in the mood for a joyous, very English comedy, then The Ghost Train is just the ticket. It's only a surprise that the Royal Exchange didn't save it for their Christmas show.

Ghost Train Royal Exchange Manchester
The Ghost Train poster

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Why? First class entertainment
Phone: 0161 833 9833
Where: Royal Exchange, Manchester
Cost: From £15
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