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Wednesday, 6 February 2019

The Girl on the Train | Mayflower Theatre

2018 was a great year for theatre trips, and I had high hopes for 2019. My first show of the year was one that’s been on my to-see list from as soon as I knew it was coming to the Mayflower Theatre. The Girl on the Train gripped me as a book, and then as a film (which admittedly I didn’t love as much), and now it has been turned into a stage show. Knowing the premise of the story, I knew this would be an edge-of-your-seat show, and I was so excited to get the opportunity to watch.

Photo courtesy of the Mayflower Theatre

The Girl on the Train was one of my first proper experiences of a thriller. I’d read the odd murder mystery, but the novel by Paula Hawkins had a whole new dimension to it that I was yet to experience. When I saw that it was being turned into a play, I was interested to see how the novel could be translated onto the stage, and safe to say, there was no need to worry. With a relatively small, but totally effective cast, and an innovative way of portraying the train that plays such a large role in the story, you could tell that a lot of thought had been put into the production.

Photo courtesy of the Mayflower Theatre

Photo courtesy of the Mayflower Theatre

EastEnders star Samantha Womack was cast as our story's protagonist, Rachel Watson, a divorced woman with a slight alcohol problem. She longs for a new life, and becomes fixated on the beautiful young couple she watches from the train on her way to work - Jess and Jason, as she's called them - who live a few doors up from the house she shared with her now ex-husband. However, Jess and Jason are not so perfect. In fact, they are Scott and wife Megan, who went missing on the same night that Rachel was in the area, and she walked away with an unexplained head injury. Cue Rachel trying to figure out what happened to this girl she idolised from a distance - while hoping that she was not involved. Samantha Womack performs the role exactly as I pictured when reading the book. She was so convincing as the woman who was scared of what she might have done during the blacked out parts of her memory, while also being sure that she wouldn't hurt anyone. The inner turmoil Rachel is facing is so clear in Womack's portrayal of the character - really authentic. It was a lovely opportunity to see her in something so different from EastEnders, a real chance to see her breadth of acting potential. Her story-telling was great.

Photo courtesy of the Mayflower Theatre

Photo courtesy of the Mayflower Theatre

Along the way, we are introduced to a variety of people, who can help link Rachel and Megan. We hear Megan's own tragic backstory, in "flashback" style dialogue between herself and either her husband or her therapist. The costume choice for Megan - a red dress, that gets progressively more black as her story gets deeper and darker - was particularly poignant. It is not something that perhaps everyone would notice, but it certainly caught my eye and added to the foreboding feeling that Megan's story is a dark one.

Photo courtesy of the Mayflower Theatre

I knew the story beforehand, having read the book and seen the film, but that didn't mean that I wasn't completely drawn into the story and caught up in the mystery of the case. With so many twists and turns, and an ending that still caught me off guard and caused me to jump in my seat, I would thoroughly recommend seeing The Girl on the Train. It was a real privilege to see such a well put together play at The Mayflower, as opposed to the all-singing, all-dancing musical productions I'm used to seeing.

Photo courtesy of the Mayflower Theatre

The Girl on the Train is playing at The Mayflower in Southampton until 9th February. You can book tickets online here, or by calling the Box Office on 02380 711811.

My ticket for The Girl on the Train was complimentary, for review purposes, but all views and opinions are honest and my own.

Love Lexie


  1. I couldn't think of anyone better to place the main character on stage!! xx




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