Thursday, January 30, 2014

Review - The Next Train to Depart - Arts Centre Washington

The Next Train to Depart
Arts Centre Washington
30th Jan 2014

Written by John Challis and directed by Melanie Rashbrooke, The Next Train to Depart is the first of three Bitesize plays from Queen’s Hall Arts.
The play follows the developing relationship of two people who meet by chance at a railway station. Dante (Adam Donaldson) is a would be poet, sitting in the station day after day people watching, and writing, and waiting for his girlfriend to call. Kayleigh (Alex Tahnee) is a call centre worker, on her last warning for being late, and stuck in a rut in her personal life.

We see them develop from chance acquaintances to friends, and maybe more. Kayleigh dreams of another life, another world, finding an escape in their daily meetings, growing in confidence finally realising that she must take the chance to change her life. Dan matures and becomes less self conscious as a writer, finding inspiration in Kayleigh’s dreams. But will he have the strength to choose adventure when the time comes?
This is a simple, gentle play, with some beautiful, poetic moments set against the background of station sounds (which were recorded for real at Newcastle Central). It asks questions about life and relationships, personal happiness and development, and our ability to choose to change.  There is a real sense of two people on the brink of discovery, but perhaps too afraid to step out. In the end you are left feeling that one of them at least will take the opportunity and move forward.

The Next Train to Depart is playing at Seaton Delaval Arts Centre and Alnwick Playhouse in February and is well worth an hour of your time.

Denise Sparrowhawk

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