The Girl on the Train production photos – Photo credit: Manuel Harlan

The Girl on the Train is based on the international number one best-selling novel by Paula Hawkins. Loved by many, the best-selling novel which has sold over twenty million copies worldwide was also made into a DreamWorks film in 2016 starring Emily Blunt as Rachel. The play opened in Milton Keynes in January and has been captivating audiences across the country on its UK tour.

The story centres around Rachel Watson who longs for a different life. On her daily commute she escapes her reality by watching a seemingly perfect couple through the train window every day. Rachel learns that the woman she has been watching has disappeared and she finds herself in the centre of the mystery, even considered a suspect.

Produced by Simon Friend, Amblin Entertainment and Josh Andrews, The Girl on the Train is adapted by Rachel Wagstaff & Duncan Abel and is directed by Anthony Banks with designs by James Cotterill. For me, the set designs in this production were incredibly impressive. Throughout the production the sets moved with an ease and sleekness that resembled the movement of a working train. At times it felt that the sets were closing together like train doors, taking the audience on Rachel’s commuter journey. The composition and sound design by Ben & Max Ringham combined with the fantastic projection by Andrzej Goulding really made the production memorable.

The cast in this production gave strong performances. Samantha Womack is impressive as the troubled Rachel Watson, a complex character who relies on drink to escape her problems. Womack captured the complexities of a character dealing with addiction and abuse, showing vulnerability and strength as she tries to solve the mystery that surrounds her. I heard many audience members throughout the night whisper how impressed they were with her performance.

I particularly enjoyed the delicate and weighty performance by Kirsty Oswald as Megan Hipwell as she delivered her emotional story in her therapy session and the charming, smooth, manipulative performance by Adam Jackson-Smith as Rachel’s ex-husband Tom Watson.

Though the story may be predictable as the second act unfolds, I think the production still keeps you enthralled with the wonderful elements of projection, sound, set design and impressive performances from this touring cast. The stage production of The Girl on a Train is a thrilling, captivating night out and worth a trip to your local theatre (even if you know the ending!).


Theatreatstic 4/5:

We say: “The Girl on a Train is packed full of strong performances, sleek impressive set designs and fantastic projection making it a thrilling, captivating night out!”