The Girl On The Train by Duncan Abel & Rachael Wagstaff

Mon 17th April to Sat 22nd April 2023

The curtains opened to reveal an eerie, misty figure and the haunting sounds of Magpie, by The Unthanks. And I was captivated. This tense drama, based on Paula Hawkins’ novel, focuses on Rachel Watson’s obsession with other people’s apparent happiness. Ably directed by Paul Barrass, the action takes place in several locations, achieved by one of the theatre’s most effective sets.

Claire Bower was truly amazing as Rachel. I have rarely seen an amateur actor so immersed in a part. And her professionalism seemed infectious. Tony Ruscoe, as Tom, her ex, was chameleon-like, changing from caring to violent. Catherine Couchman Reynolds as current wife, Anna, expertly stoked the tension between the pair. Rachel’s envy of others’ lives focuses on a couple, whose home she passes on her morning train commute. But envy turns to horror when the woman goes missing. The show’s hypnotic techno music helped push emotions higher and Edward Toone, as Scott, went from one extreme to the other in the search for his wife, Megan, played so sensitively by Robyn Forsythe.

Nick Turrell was convincing as kindly but careless therapist Kamal Abdic. Mark Aspland was the one constant as Det Insp Gaskill. Verity Davis and Benjamin Brooks completed the cast in silent, but animated police roles in this play, which stands out in the current season. ( from the review in the Harborough Mail by Gordon Birch. Photos by Andy Wallace.)