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Phil Willmott

Review: THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN at the Duke Of York's Theatre

The Girl on the Train After a national tour, The Girl On The Train has pulled into The Duke Of York's for a limited four week run, so if you are a fan of the book or film then you don't have long to catch this well known thriller.

Rachel Wagstaff and Duncan Abel have adapted the play from the best selling novel by Paula Hawkins, and true to the book have retained its London setting.

The story revolves around Rachel (Samantha Womack) who uses alcohol as a crutch to get over her broken marriage to Tom, who has remarried Annie and together they have a young baby. Rachel yearns for love, and sees her image of a perfect life and relationship in a couple she watches each day from the train window as it slows near their flat on her daily commute. When she learns that the woman has suddenly disappeared, Rachel is compelled to do some investigating of her own, and finds herself more involved in the couples lives than she could have imagined. Driven by curiosity and a cloudy memory of events which she believes could be relevant, Rachel finds herself not only as a possible witness but also a suspect in this taught thriller.

Fans of the film may wonder how the short cinematic scenes could transfer to a theatre space. But thanks to the creative team of James Cotterill ,Jack Knowles, Ben and Max Ringham the overall set, lighting and sound design of the play are key to it working so well. Rachel's grimy, messy, unloved kitchen, reflecting her state of mind, the ordered home of Tom and Annie, the psychiatrist's office, police station and of course the train, each of the scenes move effortlessly, transporting the audience through this suspenseful journey.

The Girl On The Train is a gripping thriller, the dialogue is sharp with occasional and well delivered comedic lines, and for those who have not yet read the book or seen the film, there is an unexpected twist at the end. Tension was sometimes lost, due to a lack of truth in the emotional journey of some of the actors' characterisation choices, however, this did not detract from the well crafted story which had the audience gasping and muttering under their breath in all the right places.