The Girl on the Train at the Grand Opera House

The last film I went to see in the cinema before my daughter was born was “The Girl on the Train” in 2016. I remember it clearly because I didn’t get to the cinema again for about a year and a half after that!

As a big fan of mystery thrillers, I really enjoyed the film. A few months ago I saw that “The Girl on the Train” had been adapted into a stage production and it was coming to Belfast’s Grand Opera House. I wasn’t sure how it would translate on stage, particularly the scenes set, well as you can imagine….on the train.

I was invited along to review the show and in short, the production worked very well on stage as a dark psychological drama.

The story is about Rachel Watson (played by Samantha Womack of Eastenders fame), an alcoholic whose husband left her for another woman.

Her life is a mess, she has black-outs, she misses her old life and she yearns for a baby that she cannot have. Her only escape is watching a couple from the train she catches every day. This perfect couple.

But when Rachel learns the woman she has been watching, Megan, has disappeared, she finds herself tangled up in the police case, both an unreliable witness and suspect. What happened to the woman with the seemingly idyllic life?

The show was slick, with subtle and clever lighting, fast set changes and an convincing representation of a fast moving train. (Even costumes play a part, with the missing woman’s dress slowly changing from red to black throughout the production.)

Every character is flawed, not least Rachel who drinks vodka straight from water bottles to escape her dark reality, and Megan’s husband Scott (played by Oliver Farnworth from Coronation Street) who has a few “Could it have been him?” moments.

You don’t need to have read the book, or seen the film, to enjoy this “Whodunnit?” stage play. It’s an intimate show, focusing on peoples’ lives and how they are linked, rather than a big flashy production. Who holds the key to Megan’s disappearance?

The Girl on the Train is running at the Grand Opera House until Saturday 15th June.

TGOTT 9 Naeem Hayat and Samantha Womack Photo by Manuel Harlan (2)TGOTT 11 Oliver Farnworth and Samantha Womack Photo by Manuel HarlanTGOTT 2 Samantha Womack and Adam Jackson Smith Photo by Manuel Harlan

These tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review.

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