The Ghost Train, by Arnold Ridley Directed by Patric Kearns and designed by Geoff Gilder, a Talking Scarlet production.
THE CONCEPT: Two newlyweds, an estranged couple, a self-indulgent young dandy and an elderly spinster with a parrot are stranded in the waiting room of an isolated railway station on a dark and stormy night. The group of travellers react with varying degrees of credulity to the station master’s warning of death to anyone who sets eyes on the ghostly train that haunts the line.
THE SUCCESSES: As we took our seats the theatre was filled with ominous sound of rainfall and a distant storm……..
The curtain rose to reveal an empty waiting room, shabby and dilapidated. Within moments we were transported to a rural back water station in the dead of night, the lighting was suitably atmospheric and used to great effect.
The station master, played to perfection by Jeffery Holland sets the scene for the ghostly goings on.
As the cast settled into the performance, we found their character depictions to be spot on, all rather ‘jolly hockey sticks’ but wonderfully indulgent, the costumes perfectly suited and the use of the set was well thought out.
Tom Butcher as the blundering buffoon Teddie Deakin stole the show.
Judy Buxton as Julia Price, a woman driven half mad by the spectre of the Ghost Train and determined to ensure the others flee to avoid her fate.
We were enchanted by the story and the inevitable twist, that’s always a staple plot technique in such comedy thrillers. The audience chuckled at the one liners and witty reposts and gasped and collectively jumped as the ghostly story played out.
THE SETBACKS: There was a slight sense of having seen it all before, as varients of the story have been told and retold in many media. However it didn’t really detract from the simple enjoyment of a live performance. We went to be entertained and we were.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Acclaimed theatre company Talking Scarlet, will be performing The Ghost Train at Buxton Opera House from Thursday 5th to Saturday 7thof February at 7.30pm with a matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm.
Lady Tiger Lilly and I adored it and heartily recommend you catch the Ghost Train it if you can.
- Lady Sky