Tag Archives: The Girl on the Train

REVIEW: The Girl on the Train – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

British writer Paula Hawkins’ 2015 novel The Girl on the Train became a runaway best-seller around the globe, with a Hollywood movie adaptation following on its heels quickly a year later, albeit with a re-setting to New York instead of London. Rachel Wagstaff and Duncan Abel’s 2018 stage version restores it to its original location and a somewhat less glossy and more realistic environment.

Binge drinking Rachel Watson passes her old house and her ex-husband and his new life (and wife and baby) every day as she commutes to work. While her attention is initially on ex Tom and trophy wife Anna, whom she harassed relentlessly, it strays to a house a few doors down where she fixates on “Jason & Jess” as she’s dubbed them and their seemingly perfect life. Little does she know that “Jess” is far from happy. When she wakes up one day bloody and injured with little recollection of what has happened she finds out “Jess”, actually Megan, is missing. She inveigles her way into the investigation, befriending Megan’s husband Scott and visiting her psychotherapist Dr. Abdic under false pretences. As Rachel slowly sobers, her memories become gradually clearer and there’s a whole school of red herrings before we come to the shocking conclusion.

Unlike the book and movie, the lion’s share of the action takes place in Rachel’s hovel of an apartment, it’s more The Girl in the Flat rather than The Girl on the Train but that said, the design by James Cotterill is clever enough to portray multiple locations including Megan and Scott’s and Tom and Anna’s homes, a police station, a psychiatrist’s office, the crime scene and the train itself. There a few sound and lighting effects thrown into the mix to keep the interest.

It’s must be said that it is a little slow to get into gear, possibly necessitated by the establishment of the complex layers of the story, but the tension does ramp up in the second half. Where it also differs from both previous incarnations of the story is the frequent black humour, which provides light relief in this dark tale. The scenes between Rachel and sardonic D.I. Gaskell (John Dougall) are particularly well-played.

TV veteran Samantha Womack is Rachel, and delivers a well-measured, low-key performance, keeping it entirely within the bounds of believability in her portrayal of a woman on the brink. There are no cheap histrionics here, and certainly no glamour, much to Womack’s credit. It is refreshing to know that in having a star like Womack, the producers haven’t traded talent for ticket sales. She is ably supported by a sure-footed ensemble cast.

Another question that deserves addressing (almost the elephant in the room) for those who have read the book or seen the movie – does it affect the enjoyment knowing the sting on the tail? Not entirely. While knowing what’s coming, it is still sufficiently interesting to see how it has been achieved.

Runs until 20 April 2019 | Image: Manuel Harlan

NEWS: SAMANTHA WOMACK TO STAR IN THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN AT THEATRE ROYAL

Samantha Womack is to star in a new production of The Girl on the Train, a gripping thriller based on the internationally acclaimed number one best-selling novel by Paula Hawkins and the Dreamworks film.  The Girl on the Train will run at Theatre Royal, Glasgow as part of a major tour of the UK & Ireland from Tuesday 15 – Saturday 20 April 2019.

Samantha plays Rachel Watson who longs for a different life. Her only escape is the perfect couple she watches through the train window every day, happy and in love. Or so it appears. When Rachel learns that the woman she’s been secretly watching has suddenly disappeared, she finds herself as a witness and even a suspect in a thrilling mystery in which she will face bigger revelations than she could ever have anticipated.

Samantha Womack has starred extensively in television, film and theatre. She is best known for playing Ronnie Mitchell in BBC1’s EastEnders. Other television credits include leading roles in Mount Pleasant and the hugely popular Game On.  Her recent films include: Kingsman: The Golden Circle and Kingsman: The Secret Service alongside Colin Firth. Samantha recently played Morticia in a tour of The Addams Family at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow.

Samantha said: “Having been thoroughly captivated by the novel, the opportunity to take on a role like this is incredibly exciting. I’ve been fascinated by thrillers for a long time and this kind of storytelling, like Hitchcock’s Rear Window, offers us a voyeurs journey into a world which is dangerous and full of suspense.”

Joining Samantha in the cast is Oliver Farnworth as Scott. Best known for playing Andy Carver in Coronation Street, Oliver’s other TV credits include Mr Selfridge, The Royal and Hollyoaks. Further casting is to be announced.

The Girl on the Train

Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Tue 15 – Sat May 2019

Tue-Sat, 7.30pm

Thu, Sat, 2.30pm

www.atgtickets.com/glasgow 0844 871 7647 *calls cost up to 7 p per minute plus your phone company’s access rate