Review: The Girl On The Train, Norwich Theatre Royal
For those asked to do The Girl On The Train in charades, it's been a book, a film and now a play and it is in this latest version that appears in Norfolk this week.
A true publishing sensation when it appeared in 2015, Paula Hawkins' novel has been stylishly adapted here by Rachel Wagstaff and Duncan Abel, with a production heading for a short West End run in the middle of this tour.
Samantha Womack (of EastEnders fame) plays Rachel Watson, a woman who has spiralled into drunkeness following the collapse of her marriage to Tom (Adam Jackson-Smith) and his subsequent remarriage to Anna (Lowenna Melrose).
She finds herself in the middle of a whodunnit after Megan, a neighbour of Tom and Anna, goes missing.
As she can't remember what she's forgotten, she's not a lot of use to DI Gaskell (John Dougall) as he investigates the disappearance other than as a suspect, particularly as she grows close to Megan's partner Scott (Oliver Farnworth, who played Andy Carver in Coronation Street).
There are the usual red herrings and false trail in a psychological thriller that does much to update Patrick Hamilton's Gaslight.
It gets a little shouty towards the end but this is a first-class production, which despite the essential dark nature of the piece, even delivers (a la Hitchcock) more than a few laughs, with Ms Womack leading from the front with a tour-de-force of a performance.
Well worth getting over to see. The play runs until Saturday.